by Sleepypod

Despite best intentions, accidents happen and even “indoor” pets can become lost. Odds your pet will be returned are better if your pet is wearing a collar with proper identification or microchipped. A combination of collar i.d. and microchip is the most effective way to ensure a pet’s return home.

When traveling with a pet, your pet should wear an identification tag with the name and telephone of your temporary residence in addition to regular identification tags. Pet carrier tag information should include both home and temporary residence information as well.

Should your pet becomes lost, read our tips for finding a lost pet below.


Tips for Finding a Lost Pet

Proper i.d. is your best bet for a safe return, but you must act immediately should your pet go missing. Here are tips for finding a lost pet:

Search the area carefully and completely

  • Call your pet’s name repeatedly and try to attract your pet with familiar items that make sounds like toys or treat bags.
  • Set out items familiar to your pet that may be recognizable by scent.

Contact your local animal shelter and animal control agencies

  • Visit in person to view all found animals, fill out lost animal reports, and return frequently to view new pet arrivals.

Create and post flyers 

  • Include a cell phone number rather than a home phone number so that you may be reached immediately if someone finds your pet.
  • Include species, breed, color, and weight but leave out distinguishing marks to determine the validity of  a found pet claim.
  • Do not include your home address on flyers.
  • Give flyers to neighbors and area merchants so they are aware that your pet is missing.
  • Determine if it is lawful to post flyers on phone poles and streetlights before posting.

Contact local veterinarians

  • If your pet is injured, someone may take your pet to a vet for medical attention.
  • Leave flyers with local veterinarian offices.

Contact your state’s department of transportation

  • In the unfortunate event that your pet was killed on a roadway, it is usually the responsibility of your state’s department of transportation to pick up animal remains.

Make use of media in your search

  • Use the internet to search shelter listings.
  • Search “found” pet ads in local newspapers.

Keep up the search

  • Pets have been reunited with their owners months after being lost, so do not lose hope and keep searching.


SP-logo2-wb-square-150x150Bold and functional, Sleepypod products are clever enough to have won a slew of awards and stacks of praise from veterinarians, pet industry experts and media, even earning a spot in the Metropolitan Home “Design 100”alongside iconic products like the iPhone and the Smartcar.

Busy pet-owner lifestyles demand pet products that are not only versatile but also exceptional enough to baby the pets that mean so much to us. Sleepypod understands the importance of pets in their owners’ lives and that’s why we take pet safety seriously. With a pet’s well being in mind, careful and caring attention to every detail has been placed into each product from the crash-testing of the Sleepypod line of pet carriers for safety testing of the car seat function  to the use of jewelry-grade, hypoallergenic materials in their Sleepypod Pendants for pet identification.

Cherry blossoms in full bolo, provide a gorgeous frame to this photo of the  Jefferson Memorial at the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. (photo: Joe Milmoe, USFWS)

Cherry blossoms in full bloom provide a gorgeous frame for this photo of the Jefferson Memorial at the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. (photo: Joe Milmoe, USFWS)

Each year more than a million visitors descend on Washington, D.C. to take in the magical views of blossoming cherry trees that border some of our Nation’s most famous monuments and memorials to include the Franklin Delano Memorial, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, and the Washington Monument. (map) The peak cherry blossom blooming period falls anywhere between mid-March and mid-April. (bloom schedule)

History from the National Park Service

The plantings of cherry trees originated in 1912 as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan. In Japan, the flowering cherry tree, or “Sakura,” is an exalted flowering plant. The beauty of the cherry blossom is a potent symbol equated with the evanescence of human life and epitomizes the transformation of Japanese culture throughout the ages. (history of  the cherry trees)


The famed cherry blossom trees grow in three National Park Service locations so there are many organized ranger-led programs and tours. (programs)

Pet-Friendly Activities

This year, park rangers led dogs and their owners on a Pups n’ Petals tour among the cherry blossoms. (Pups ‘n’ Petals tour)

While pets are frequent visitors to the verdant National Mall grounds, they are excluded from visiting inside most memorials and monuments such as the Washington Monument as well as the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. They are welcome, however, in the surrounding park areas. Check with the National Park Service first to see which DC memorials, such as the Franklin Delano Roosevelt National Memorial, allow leashed, furry visitors.

Pups 'n' Petals is a  dog-friendly, park ranger led walk during the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. (photo: NPS)

Pups ‘n’ Petals is a dog-friendly, park ranger-led walk during the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. (photo: NPS)


MAX 04114

HINT: For more than 100 years, these pink blossoms have made springtime magical in this U.S. city.

Oz the Terrier with gear for dog-friendly outdoor adventures . (photo:
Oz the Terrier with gear for dog-friendly outdoor adventures.  (photo:

by Oz the Terrier of

I know a lot of friends cannot wait until Spring finally settles in. Spring means lots of outside time with the family–whether it be playing in the yard, a visit to the park, a big hike in the woods or a long weekend camping.

We dogs love any type of adventure and we trust our humans will keep us safe from injury and illness while exploring the great outdoors. With that in mind, I wanted to share some of our top tips for having a safe outdoor adventure with your dog.

Stay Healthy

Before you travel to your latest adventure, locate the nearest vet to where you will be/be staying; this way, if your dog needs any kind of medical attention, you know where to go right away.

Carry a Pet First Aid kit with you for minor emergencies.  The ASPCA Online Store offers a pre-made Pet First Aid Kit for around $30.

Make sure your dog is updated on his/her vaccinations and has adequate flea and tick prevention.

Florida Fact: If hiking, boating, canoeing or camping in Florida (especially South Florida) during the warmer months, you may want to talk to your vet about adequate mosquito repellent for your dog, since those suckers form armies down here.

Stay Leashed on Hikes and Walks

I know many dogs are great on off-leash walks and hikes however we like to stick with leashed hikes and walks here in Florida. On our adventures, I am always leashed because there are so many strange noises, new scents and wild animals that could cause trouble or harm. Ma and Daddy-dog don’t want to lose me in the woods while I am chasing down something wild and crazy.

Florida Facts:  It may not be “lions, tigers and bears” that scare, startle or attack you here in Florida but it surely can be “panthers, (poisonous) snakes, wild boar and bears”…none of which would be good for me to run into while exploring off leash! 

Also, we have fire ants, which I have stepped in before: those critters swarm on you and then bite/sting all at once! Ouch! Many people and dogs are allergic to their bite/sting; they are painful and can cause a lot of swelling.

Stay Afloat

If you and your dog enjoy boat or canoe rides together, you may want to invest in a dog life vest. I can assure you from personal experience that not all dogs can or like to swim.

Florida Fun Fact: If canoeing or kayaking in Florida, it is always a good idea to have a life vest that has a handle for your dog to wear. Why? Alligators and Water Moccasins. If your dog falls into the water, you need to be able to grab them out of the water quickly lest they get bit by a poisonous water snake or become a mid-morning snack for some giant gator.

Stay Hydrated and Nourished

Just as you would for yourself, no matter what your adventure bring plenty of water and food for both you and your dog.

We always have more than enough bottled water for all of us and Daddy-dog always has my travel bowl at the ready. I am never allowed to drink out of any river, stream, puddle (etc.) because there could be bacteria (or other icky things) in it that would make me sick.

We always have plenty of healthy, energy-boosting snacks with us as well, whether we are in the campsite, hiking or canoeing. On our last adventure, Ma brought my Zuke’s Power Bones which contain fast-burning carbohydrates and antioxidants, to keep me fueled during our 5+ mile hike. We also love to have Zuke’s Supers on hand during an adventure since they are chock full of antioxidants.

Florida Fact: We have lots of edible plants down here like coconuts, cocoplum and citrus fruits some of which you may see growing wild.  During our last camping trip, there were orange trees growing in the campground. They were thin and spindly, not like what you would see in a citrus grove, but they had fruit…and Ma and Daddy-dog tried one!  It was a sour orange. 

Stay Together

Don’t leave your dog unattended at your campsite even if they are on a leash or in a crate. Dogs also shouldn’t be left inside of the car if you decide to go on a hike or other outing without them. And please: allow your dog to sleep in a tent with you to ensure they stay safe.

Florida Fact:  In Florida State Parks, where we camp, it is required that dogs walk on a 6 foot leash at all times and when in the campsite, must be on a tie-out.

Stay Alert

Whether hiking, canoeing or in the campsite…always be aware of your surroundings! Staying alert to what is around you is the best way to ensure everyone has a great time!

I hope you will have some great adventures soon!

*A special thank you to Zuke’s for fueling my camping, hiking, canoeing and biking adventures!

This article is reprinted by permission of Find the original article here.


Oz_03Oz the Terrier is a writer and poet with a passion for “ruffing it” in the Florida outdoors.  Whether it’s  camping, hiking, canoeing or biking, you will find Oz happily accompanying his humans on all their adventures. Come explore Florida from a dog’s point of view at


Wounded Dog

by Melanie Monteiro, author of The Safe Dog Handbook and creator of The Safe Dog Channel

In an era when there’s a national day, week, or month for almost everything, it’s understandable that this announcement lacks the punch of, say, “National Maserati Giveaway Month,” “National Chocolate Soufflé Month” or “National You Won the Mega Jackpot Month.”

To most people, first aid for pets is just not a very interesting topic.

That is, until your dog or cat suddenly begins choking on a toy. Or is hit by a car, suffers a near drowning accident, or ingests one of the countless pet toxins found in the average home—from grapes to azaleas to acetaminophen to anything sweetened with xylitol. The fact is, our pets are surrounded by hazards, and these hazards sometimes lead to serious accidents.

Are these terrible things likely to happen? Thankfully, the odds are in your favor they won’t. But I can assure you that anyone whose cat or dog has suffered a life-threatening accident no longer cares about odds.

What you do (or don’t do) in the first moments following an accident can often make the difference between life and death. One such example is with choking. If your pet’s airway is completely obstructed by an object, there’s no time to go to the veterinarian for help—you need to take immediate action. This video demonstrates a few lifesaving skills for choking emergencies:

Learning pet first aid can not only save your pet’s life in an emergency, but will also make you a more relaxed and confident guardian. In addition, it can help you spot less obvious health issues by educating you on common warning signs as well as teaching you how to determine your pet’s normal vital signs.

So, what steps should you take to be first aid ready?

1. Sign up for a training course in your area. Check with your local Red Cross, humane organizations, or independent resources such as PetTech.

2. Download an app or purchase a book on pet first aid emergencies. My favorites are the Red Cross pet first aid app for iPhone and Android, Dog First Aid by the American Red Cross, Cat First Aid by the American Red Cross, and my own book, The Safe Dog Handbook.

3. Put together a pet first aid kit. To learn how, check out my previous post, “Time To Update Your Pet First Aid Kit.

Preparing yourself for an emergency is a lot less daunting than it may seem. Put aside one day in your life for your pet’s sake. Then you can relax and enjoy all the other national holidays to come.

If you’ve learned pet first aid or have ever had to use it on your pet, share your story with us!

Read other articles by Melanie Monteiro on Pet Travel Experts:


FAK_Melanie-300x187Melanie Monteiro is a dog safety expert, author of The Safe Dog Handbook and creator of The Safe Dog Channel.

Franklin Roosevelt depicted with is dog Fala at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial (Photo: NPS)

Franklin Roosevelt depicted with is dog Fala at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial (Photo: NPS)

1) Who is this famous pet? Fala is the beloved pet of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

2) Where can his statue be found? Fala’s statue is located at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt National Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Perhaps the pet that saw the most historic events was that of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. This would be the beloved Fala, FDR’s Scottish terrier.  FDR had seven dogs, but Fala was his favorite. In fact Fala got the Presidential treatment. Every morning a bone would be brought up for him along with FDR’s breakfast. He would sleep on a special chair at the foot of FDR’s bed every night. He also accompanied FDR almost everywhere he went. By plane, train, car and boat Fala was part of some big events during the FDR administration. In August 1941, Fala was at the Atlantic Charter Conference in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland with the President and Prime Minister Winston Churchill.  He went to the Aleutian Islands, the Quebec Conferences and defense plants in Mexico. -(from the National Park Service, by Nicole DeLuca, Park Ranger)

More information about the Franklin Delano Roosevelt National Memorial is available at


Fala, Franklin Roosevelt's dog, at Washington's F.D.R. Memorial

This famous pet traveled by air and land and sea. A rumor that he was stranded on the Aleutian Islands set off a national controversy.  Can you tell us:

1) Who is this famous pet?

2) Where can his statue be found?



An update on the Pet Travel Experts post, Pet Evacuation Bill Approved by Massachusetts State Senate:

Yesterday, the Help Pet Evacuation Bill S.1172 that requires cities and towns to include household pets and service animals in emergency evacuation plans was enacted by the Massachusetts House of Representatives. The bill moves to Gov. Deval Patrick to be signed into law.

“Many pet owners will deliberately place themselves in grave danger rather than abandon their pets if advised they cannot bring their pets to a shelter,” said Bill Ketzer, senior state director of ASPCA Government Relations for the Northeast region. “More than 50 percent of Massachusetts households have pets, so we strongly urge Governor Patrick to sign this legislation to protect these pets and their owners, as other Northeastern states like Connecticut, Maine and New Jersey have done by enacting laws to make local governments stronger partners in disaster planning.”

Massachusetts joins 13 states that have enacted similar laws.-(JS)



It’s no secret we’re big fans of pet travel expert Kelly E. CarterKelly has the enviable job of traveling the globe with her charming chihuahua Lucy, uncovering the best kept pet travel secrets and pointing us to the places that not only open their doors to pets, but roll out the welcome mat. Those of us with wanderlust, two- and four-legged, live vicariously through Kelly and Lucy as we read about their travels to Paris, Dublin, Aspen, Boston, Rio de Janeiro, Bangkok, Tokyo… in her blog, The Jet Set Pets.

Now, the well-traveled author has written a book for National Geographic, THE DOG LOVER’S GUIDE TO TRAVEL: Best Destinations, Hotels, Events, and Advice to Please Your Pet–and You. The book is available April 1, 2014, but you may pre-order your copy at ($17.00 paperback, $11.99 Kindle). (JS)

THE DOG LOVER’S GUIDE TO TRAVEL begins with basic advice for pet parents looking to take a vacation with Fido: How to determine if your dog is ready for a trip; how to select the right carrier and appropriate travel gear; what to know before booking a flight with your pup. Carter also shares her knowledge of what travelers and their pets can expect at hotels, airports, the beach, on the trail and more. The book is then divided by region, showcasing 75 pet-friendly cities across the United States and Canada, from Sanibel Island, Fla., to Whistler, British Columbia. In each city, Carter highlights the best pet offerings, from top hotels to perfect parks to trendy pet shops and doggie bakeries. Special features include walks to take with your dog, insider tips from local pet owners and sidebars detailing unique opportunities available only to people with a dog in tow.

Carter’s helpful and fun tips include:

  • Always have the address and phone number of the nearest emergency vet handy.THE DOG LOVER’S GUIDE TO TRAVEL includes details for emergency care in many cities.
  • Canned dog food is considered a liquid, so it’s subject to TSA’s 3-1-1 carry-on rule, which limits the volume allowed to 3.4 ounces.
  • Just because a hotel’s website doesn’t state that it’s pet-friendly, it doesn’t mean it isn’t — call and ask, as many hotels will shower your pet with amenities and attention, yet they do not advertise this online.
  • Headed to the beach? Be sure to bring fresh water, an umbrella, a towel and sunblock — which should be applied regularly to your pup’s ears and nose.

Carter also offers suggestions for where travelers can find a yappy hour, barks & crafts session, dog-friendly kayak tour, canine cruise, pet-friendly painting class or “doga” yoga session. And she has the inside scoop on where the pet-set crowd can find private pet chefs to whip up fabulous farm-to-bowl meals, a concierge to arrange birthday “pawties” and canine beauty days at a spa.

Read Kelly E. Carter’s article on Pet Travel Experts blog: Pets Travel Easy on Rail Europe Trains

Scenic Stewart's Canal, part of the Harriet Tubman Underground National Monument located in Dorchester County, Maryland. (Photo: National Park Service)

Scenic Stewart’s Canal, part of the Harriet Tubman Underground National Monument located in Dorchester County, Maryland. (Photo: National Park Service)

The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad was one of five new national monuments designated by President Barack Obama  in 2013. The monument commemorates the life of the most famous conductor on the Underground Railroad who was responsible for helping enslaved people escape from bondage to freedom.

Harriet Tubman (A Library of Congress image)

Harriet Tubman (A Library of Congress image)

The new national park, located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, includes large sections of landscapes that are significant to Tubman’s early life in Dorchester County and evocative of her life as a slave and conductor of the Underground Railroad.


As with any visit with a pet to a national monument or national park, it is important to plan in advance of travel. Check weather and travel conditions and if planning to enter any indoor structures, phone ahead to see if pets are permitted.

Inside Bucktown Store at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument.

Inside Bucktown Store at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument. (Photo: National Park Service)

The Visitor Experience: A Different Kind of 19th- Century Battlefield

from the U.S. National Park Service, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument

Underground Railroad activity represents a different kind of 19th-century battlefield. Like a battlefield, the events that took place on this ground and the people who participated in them are long gone. Like a battlefield, the fight was for freedom and the risks were life and death. And, like the secret network that the national monument commemorates, the history here may not be immediately obvious.

You won’t see Harriet Tubman represented here in structures and statues, rather, she is memorialized in the land, water, and sky of the Eastern Shore where she was born and where she returned again and again to free others. Tubman would easily recognize this place. The landscapes and waterways that she navigated and used for sanctuary on her Underground Railroad missions have changed little from her time.

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument is a new park. In the coming years, you will see services added to the park done in cooperation with Maryland’s planned Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park. Today, you can explore Underground Railroad history and Harriet Tubman’s story by enjoying the programs, facilities, and events sponsored and operated by our partners.

The monument’s boundary encompasses a mosaic of federal and state lands in Dorchester County, Maryland. It includes large sections of land that are significant to Tubman’s early years and evoke her life while enslaved and as a conductor on the Underground Railroad. The national monument includes the following areas. There are no planned national park facilities on these sites.

  • Stewart’s Canal, dug by hand by free and enslaved people between 1810 and 1832 for commercial transportation. Tubman learned important outdoor skills navigating the canal and when she worked in nearby timbering operations with her father, Ben Ross. Stewart’s Canal is part of the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge and, while part of the national monument, will continue to be owned, operated and managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • Home site of Jacob Jackson, a free African American man who received a coded letter to help Tubman to communicate secretly with her family. He was a conduit for a message to alert her three brothers, Henry, Benjamin, and Robert that she would soon come to guide their escape from slavery to the north. The Jacob Jackson Home Site was donated to the National Park Service by the Conservation Fund for inclusion in the new national monument.


Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park, Maryland
Maryland’s Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park, expected to open in 2015, is a 17-acre tract adjacent to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Dorchester County near Church Creek, Maryland. The state park will offer exhibits, programs, and tours. Their visitor center will be built near the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge visitor center, about 12 miles south of Cambridge, Maryland off of Route 335.

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, Maryland
The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway is an All-American Road, the highest level of designation for a scenic byway in the US. The byway is a 125-mile driving tour of more than two dozen historic sites and scenic vistas associated with Tubman that lie both within and outside of the national monument. (410) 228-1000.

Harriet Tubman Museum, Cambridge, Maryland
The Harriet Tubman Museum is owned and operated by the non-profit Harriet Tubman Organization. Admission is free. Group tours available by appointment.
424 Race Street, Cambridge, MD 21613; (410) 228-0401.

Sailwinds Visitor Center, Cambridge, Maryland
The map and guide, Finding A Way to Freedom, offers travel information and exhibits about Tubman’s life and Eastern Shore culture. Located at Sailwinds Park East in Dorchester County, just off of Route 50 at the foot of the Choptank River Bridge. Admission is free.2 Rose Hill Place, Cambridge, MD 21613; (410) 228-1000.

Underground Railroad Travel Itinerary — National Register of Historic Places
A travel itinerary covering 21 states with sites related to Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad.


National Park Service information at


Directions to our partners at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, about 12 miles south of Cambridge, Maryland: from US 50, turn south on Route 16. Follow Route 16 to Church Creek about 7 miles; turn south on Route 335 (Golden Hill Road); follow Route 335 about 4 miles; turn east on Key Wallace Drive. The visitor center is about 1 mile from the intersection on the right.
GPS: 2145 Key Wallace Drive, Cambridge, Maryland, 21613. Latitude/Longitude: 380 26′/ 76 0 07′


Download the national park brochure.

Download a map of Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument.