“How do I choose a pet carrier?” This is perhaps one of the most frequently received questions at Pet Travel Experts blog.
With the vast variety of options out there, selecting a carrier can be a daunting task. Here are a few tips to make the process easier.
Start by focusing on the purpose of the carrier: Is it going to be used for an annual veterinary visit? Will you be traveling regularly with your pet? Are you going to be flying with your pet? Answering these questions will help determine the need for a basic carrier, or if you need a carrier with additional features.
Most carriers are composed of one of three materials: cardboard, plastic, or fabric. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages:
- Cardboard carriers are the least expensive, but are usually only intended for a brief trip and short-term use, as they do not offer good ventilation and are not very sturdy. If your pet has an accident in the carrier, or the carrier gets damp in storage, it needs to be replaced.
- Plastic carriers are the most durable, and have unsurpassed longevity. Ventilation is variable depending on the design of the carrier. They are easily cleanable, but they are not very forgiving if your pet gains weight and most are not suitable for airline travel in the cabin.
- Fabric carriers are usually the most comfortable for the pet, as the majority are plushly-cushioned and well-ventilated. They are flexible for travel and storage, but some are not easy to clean, and they are usually the most costly option.
Now that you have decided the type of carrier that best suits you and your pet’s needs, it is time to determine the size of the carrier you will need. As a general rule of thumb, your pet should have enough room to turn around, and ideally be able to stand (if they are not flying in the plane cabin). Therefore, unless you plan to bring your pet with you to the store, you should have an idea of your pet’s size. The measurements you will need are the length, height, and width of your pet.
Measurements should be taken from the tip of pet’s nose to the base of their tail, from the bottom of their foot resting on the floor to the top of their head while they are standing, and across the widest point of their body (usually the ribs or hips depending on your pet). If you do not have measuring tape handy, you can always cut a piece of string to the exact length and take that with you to the store when you go to look at carriers. This task is usually easier to accomplish on a dog than a cat, since dogs respond to the commands, “Sit” and “Stay.” Cats or uncooperative dogs should be measured when they are either sleeping (and naturally staying still), or when they are eating (and distracted).
Once the basic type and size of carrier is determined, then you can select the color and begin to accessorize.
Dr. Sasha Gibbons is an associate veterinarian at Just Cats Veterinary Hospital and veterinary advisor for Community Cats in Stamford, Conn. You can also find her here:
Travelers to Naples will have fewer poop “mines” to worry about when walking the streets of Naples now that the city has started a new campaign to track wayward owners who don’t clean up after their pets.
“The idea is that every dog in the city will be given a blood test for DNA profiling in order to create a database of dogs and owners” reports the New York Times. ”When an offending pile is discovered, it will be scraped up and subjected to DNA testing. If a match is made in the database, the owner will face a fine of up to 500 euros, or about $685.”
Allowing pets in the outdoor patio of a restaurant or coffee house is not uncommon, but allowing pets inside restaurants? The Hawaii state legislature is considering HB186 that proposes allowing pets in restaurants and bars. The bill is supported by the Hawaiian Humane Society but is not without its opponents. Major concerns are hygiene and food safety. Watch this recent report by KITV4 Honolulu on the controversial bill.
Each year, millions of people visit the National Mall and Memorial Parks to commemorate presidential legacies, to honor our nation’s veterans, to make their voices heard, and to celebrate our nation’s commitment to freedom and equality.
At the heart of our nation’s capital, the National Mall and Memorial Parks is home to iconic structures and rich history. Plan your visit to make the most of your time in this exciting public space.
Directions: The National Mall and Memorial Parks are located in Washington, D.C. Washington is served by Dulles and Reagan airports, Amtrak, and many highways. Get the details on directions.
Things to Do
Visit the Iconic Memorials and Monuments:
- African American Civil War Memorial
- Constitution Gardens
- District of Columbia War Memorial
- East Potomac Park
- Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site and the House Where Lincoln Died
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
- Hispanic Heroes on Virginia Avenue, NW: José Gervasio Artigas Park Simón Bolívar Park José de San Martin Park Bernardo de Gálvez Park Benito Juárez Park
- Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism During World War II
- Korean War Veterans Memorial
- Lincoln Memorial
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
- National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial
- Old Post Office Tower
- Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site and Park
- Thomas Jefferson Memorial
- Vietnam Veterans Memorial
- Washington Monument
- West Potomac Park
- World War II Memorial
- Plus 150 reservations, circles, fountains, and park spaces in downtown Washington, D.C.
-(from the National Park Service)
Pets are frequent visitors to the verdant National Mall grounds, however pets are excluded from most memorials such as the Washington Monument as well as the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. Check with the National Park Service first to see which DC memorials, such as the Franklin Delano Roosevelt National Memorial, allow leashed, furry visitors.
Sleepypod love, that is. The winner of the “It’s Love” giveaway is Teri T. When she found out she was the winner, she shared with us:
Oh my cat! I have one Sleepypod, the Blossom Pink Breast Cancer one, which my fashionista kitty, Coco the Couture cat has claimed. We use it both for travel and as a cozy bed at Pet Fashion Shows and Expos.
I would love for Brighton, my cream and white Cornish Rex, to have a Chocolate Sleepypod, as he often attends cat shows, too and needs something a little more manly in color, but still fashion forward!
As for the second prize, to be gifted to someone, I would love to give it to a close friend, who has often admired my Sleepypod and it’s safety rating, too. I would like her to have a Strawberry Red Sleepypod for her kitty.
Congratulations to giveaway winners Teri T. and kitty Brighton, and also Kaye W. and kitty Lola!
The winner of the “It’s Love” giveaway may choose ANY one (1) Sleepypod product AND choose any one (1) Sleepypod product to give to a person or organization of their choosing! Good luck!
WINNER MAY CHOOSE FROM THESE SLEEPYPOD PRODUCTS:
- Sleepypod – for features, specifications, and available colors click here
- Sleepypod Air - for features, specifications, and available colors click here
- Sleepypod Atom - for features, specifications, and available colors click here
- Clickit Utility - for features, specifications, and available colors click here
- Yummy Travel Bowls (medium or small) - for features, specifications, and available colors click here
- Cloudpuff pet blanket – for features and specifications click here
- Little Germs Organics (dog line or cat line) - for features click here
- Little Germs Organics: Stay Clean Travel Kit (dog kit or cat kit) - for features click here
- Sleepypod Pendants set (choose one medium pendant and one small pendant) - for features, specifications, and available styles click here
ENTER THE “IT’S LOVE” GIVEAWAY:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS
- Winner chooses one (1) Sleepypod product: (1) Sleepypod, value $179.99 -OR- one (1) Sleepypod Air, value $159.99 -OR- (1) Sleepypod Atom, value $99.99 -OR- (1) Clickit Utility, value $89.99-$99.99, -OR- (1) Yummy Travel Bowls set (medium or small),value $29.99-$39.99, -OR- (1) Cloudpuff pet blanket (medium),value $29.99 -OR- (1) Little Germs Organics cat line or dog line of products, value $28.97 -OR- (1) Little Germs Organics Stay Clean Travel Kit, value $18.99 -OR- (1) Sleepypod Pendants set, value $46.98-$52.98.
- Winner wins one (1) Sleepypod product to give to a person or organization of their choosing (winner provides name and shipping information to Sleepypod for shipment): one (1) Sleepypod product: (1) Sleepypod, value $179.99 -OR- one (1) Sleepypod Air, value $159.99 -OR- (1) Sleepypod Atom, value $99.99 -OR- (1) Clickit Utility, value $89.99-$99.99, -OR- (1) Yummy Travel Bowls set (medium or small),value $29.99-$39.99, -OR- (1) Cloudpuff pet blanket (medium),value $29.99 -OR- (1) Little Germs Organics cat line or dog line of products, value $28.97 -OR- (1) Little Germs Organics Stay Clean Travel Kit, value $18.99 -OR- (1) Sleepypod Pendants set, value $46.98-$52.98.
TOTAL GIVEAWAY VALUE: $29.99-$359.98, total value depends on items chosen by winner
- No cash or other substitution may be made, except by Sleepypod (“Sponsor”), who reserves the right to substitute a prize with another prize of equal or greater value if the prize is not available for any reason as determined by the Sponsor in its sole discretion.
- The winners are responsible for any taxes and fees associated with receipt or use of a prize.
- The Giveaway is sponsored by Sleepypod, 2797 East Foothill Boulevard, Suite 110, Pasadena, CA 91107.
Agreement to Official Rules:
- Participation in the Giveaway constitutes entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor, which are final and binding. Winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein.
- No purchase necessary. A purchase or payment of any kind will not increase your chances of winning.
- Open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia.
- You must be 18+ years or older.
- Only one entrant per e-mail address per household.
- Sleepypod and LaunchLab Inc. employees and their immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings, and children) and household members are not eligible.
- Subject to all federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Void where prohibited.
- Participation in the Giveaway constitutes entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to these official rules and Sponsor’s decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to the Giveaway. Winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling requirements set fort herein.
- Participation in the Giveaway constitutes your consent to Sponsor’s use of your entry image(s) in any media to include the internet, without further payment, notice, review, or approval.
- Participation in the Giveaway constitutes your consent to Sponsor’s use of your name for promotional purposes in any media to include the internet, without further payment, notice, review, or approval.
- Contest begins: Thursday, February 6, 2014 at 12 a.m. EST
- Contest ends: Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 12 a.m. EST
- Entry method: Rafflecopter.com
- To enter the Giveaway, follow the instructions on the giveaway site. You will automatically receive one giveaway entry by completing the required entry.
- In addition, you may earn extra entries for completing the non-required entries.
- LIMITATIONS: Multiple entrants are not permitted to share the same e-mail address and/or household. Any attempt by any entrant to obtain more than the stated number of entries by using multiple/different e-mail addresses, identities, registrations and logins, or any other methods will void that entrant’s entries and that entrant may be disqualified. Use of any automated system to participate is prohibited and will result in disqualification. Sponsor is not responsible for lost, late, incomplete, invalid, unintelligible, or misdirected registrations, which will be disqualified. In the event of a dispute as to any registration, the authorized account holder of the e-mail address used to register will be deemed the registrant.
- Sponsor will randomly select the potential giveaway winner from all eligible entries through the use of Rafflecopter.com on or around the end date specified for the Giveaway period. The odds of being selected as a potential winner depend on the number of eligible entries received during the entry period.
- Potential winners will be contacted via email and will be asked to provide their full name, age and mailing address within a specified time period.
- Winner has seven (7) days to respond to initial winner notification.
- If a potential winner does not respond within the timeframe stated in the notification email, the Sponsor may select an alternate potential winner in his/her place at random from all entries received during the Entry period.
- Except where prohibited, the potential winners may be required to complete and return an affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity release (the “Affidavit/Release”) within seven (7) days of being notified.
- If a potential winner fails to sign and return the Affidavit/Release within the required time period, an alternate entrant will be selected in his/her place in a random drawing of all entries received.
Release and limitations of liability:
- By participating in the Giveaway, entrants agree to release and hold harmless the Sponsor and its respective subsidiaries, affiliates, suppliers, distributors, advertising/promotion agencies, and each of their respective parent companies and each of such company’s officers, directors, employees, and agents (collectively the “Giveaway Entities”) from and against any claim or cause of action, including, but not limited to: (a) unauthorized human intervention in the Giveaway; (b) technical errors related to computers, servers, providers, or telephone or network lines; (c) printing errors; (d) errors in the administration of the Giveaway or the processing of entries; or (e) injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from entrant’s participation in the Giveaway or receipt of any prize. Entrant further agrees that in any cause of action, the Giveaway Entities’ liability will be limited to the cost of entering and participating in the Giveaway, and in no event shall the Giveaway Entities be liable for attorney’s fees. Entrant waives the right to claim any damages whatsoever, including, but not limited to, punitive, consequential, direct, or indirect damages.
- Winner results will be posted in the “Giveaways” section of the Pet Travel Experts blog (http://www.pettravelexperts.com/).
by Jane Skuta, Pet Travel Experts
Don’t overlook what could be one of your very best Valentine’s Day dates just because he or she is below eye level. Pet owners know that no matter the day, our pets love us without condition. Isn’t that reason enough to spoil your sweetie pup on the designated day for grand gestures of love? Your pup will be the object of everyone’s affection on an extra special evening stroll wearing a charming Flower Bouquet Collar or Bowtie Collar from Pecan Pie Puppies.
Dog collars styled for your own puppy love from Pecan Pie Puppies are available in gorgeous prints and fabrics like liberty of london, seersucker, gingham, double dots, or even cupid’s arrow. For the gals, the collars may be purchased with with or without a sweet or sassy flower that slides around the collar. For the guys, debonair bowties are available in similarly splendid prints and fabrics.
For everyday wear or special occasions, check out the full line of Everyday Collars, Flower Collars, and Bowtie Collars from Pecan Pie Puppies here.
What we really like about Flower Dog Collars and Bow Tie Collars from Pecan Pie Puppies:
- every collar is hand-crafted using durable, high quality webbing and is triple-stitched to ensure your pup’s safety
- every blossom is handmade using high quality felt and elastic and hand-stitched
- the collars are sturdy without being heavy
- the nickel hardware is attractive and designed to last
- the collars are adjustable for good fit and available in sizes to accommodate a wide range of dogs: extra small (7-11 inches), small (10-14 inches), medium (13-18 inches), large (15-23 inches), and extra large (20-31 inches)
- gilded blossoms are available for more magnificent occasions like weddings
STYLES DESIGNED FOR YOUR PUPPY LOVE
Flower Dog Collar – Pink Ombre Rose ($42)
Flower Dog Collar – Puppy Love Posey ($42)
Bubblegum Pink Bowtie Dog Collar ($42)
Cupid’s Arrow Dog Bowtie Collar ($42)
Pale Pink Seersucker Bowtie Collar ($42)
Double Red Dots Bowtie Collar ($42)
Liberty of London Dog Collar – Red/Pink Berries ($32)
Cupid’s Arrow Dog Collar ($32)
Pale Pink Seersucker Dog Collar ($32)
Gingham Dog Collar – Red ($32)
Gingham Dog Collar – Pink ($32)
Double Red Dots Dog Collar ($32)
Pecan Pie Puppies web site - http://pecanpiepuppies.mysupadupa.com
by Jane Skuta, Pet Travel Experts
The humble dog leash is hands down, one of the most important tools for dog owners. Keep control of your dog and you avoid a myriad of problems. Though, despite having said dog leash attached to a well trained dog, it’s easy to lose control of your pup while simultaneously juggling dog with devices like keys, phone, dog bags, hand sanitizer, cash and credit cards… we’ve all been there. Still, who wants to carry a purse (or for the guys, a murse i.e., man purse) when running out for a quick walk, jog or even a hike?
The Fozzy Dog leash allows pet owners to carry necessities in an integrated pouch without bulk or restriction of movement. Normally, attached pouches add bulk and bob, thereby restricting movement and adding an element of nuisance. However, the pouch on the Fozzy Dog leash is uniquely attached to the handle itself. Bye bye nuisance!
The pouch is water-resistant and made of stretchable mesh fabric that holds A LOT. We stuffed a Fozzy Dog leash pocket with a cell phone, dog treat, cash, credit card and i.d., secured these items with the heavy duty velcro closure, and then attached our keys to a ring on the closure flap. On the flip side of the pocket we tucked doggie waste bags in an easy access pocket.
What we really like about the Fozzy Dog leash:
The Fozzy Dog leash has discrete bells and whistles that elevate the humble dog leash to important multi-tasking, pet safety device. The design of the pouch alone is terrific, but what we really like about the Fozzy Dog leash is how each leash element works together to help the pet owner keep control of the pet:
- integrated, expandable pouch stores important items like cell phone, cash and i.d. without bulk and/or restriction of movement
- ergonomic, molded plastic handle helps a pet owner keep a tight grip while preventing rope burns
- five foot lead is the ideal leash length, allowing a dog to walk a comfortable distance from its owner
Other things we like about Fozzy Dog leash:
- the waterproof, expandable pouch keeps necessities secure with two heavy duty velcro tabs
- 3M reflective material is sewn onto the sides of the pouch to ensure visibility in low-light conditions
- the lead is made of durable materials like heavy duty rope and nickel-plated hardware, while the molded, rubber handle is crack-resistant
- The Original
- designed for a dog over 30 pounds
- available in red, black, green or purple
- The Double
- a dual dog leash designed with a swivel coupler for tangle-free walks
- available in red, black, green or purple
- The Mini
- a smaller version of the original that is designed for dogs under 25 pounds
- available in red, black, green or purple
- The Double Mini
- double version of the Mini with a swivel coupler for tangle-free walks
- available in red, black, green or purple
Fozzy Dog web site - http://fozzydoginc.com
Two dogs, one car, a little sense, and a little nonsense! “Funny Dogs Car Talk Adventures” is an online video series featuring adorable dogs Maya and Pierson discussing the finer points of pet safety while riding in a car. Maya and Pierson inject a little humor into a serious doggie conversation, deriving their safety advice from pet owner Dawn Ross of PetAutoSafety.com.
from the U.S. National Park Service
Yosemite National Park, which boasts nearly 95 percent designated Wilderness, is a 195-mile escape from urban San Francisco or a 315-mile journey from Los Angeles. The expansive park’s 747,956 acres or 1,169 square miles are home to hundreds of wildlife species and thousands of Yosemite plants. Designated a World Heritage Site in 1984, Yosemite is known for its granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, giant sequoia groves and biological diversity. Two Wild & Scenic Rivers, the Tuolumne and Merced rivers, begin in the park and flow west to the Central Valley. Visitors experience the park’s 800 miles of hiking trails and 282 miles of road.
THINGS TO DO
- Places to Go
- Art and Photography
- Auto Touring
- Horseback Riding & Stock Use
- Ranger and Interpretive Programs
- Rock Climbing
- Water Activities
- Winter Sports
With so much terrain to explore and so many things to see and do, overnight camping is tremendously popular. The key to camping at Yosemite National Park is planning far in advance. It is very hard to get a campsite in the summer and on the weekends in spring and fall. The three car campgrounds in Yosemite Valley require reservations except in winter. Reservations are taken up to five months in advance and can sell out in hours or and even minutes.
Watch this video on camping in Yosemite.
In Yosemite Valley, leashed pets are allowed on several day hikes:
Bridalveil Fall (easy, but icy in winter)
0.5 miles/0.8 km round-trip; 20 minutes [leashed pets allowed]
Begin at the Bridalveil Fall parking area
A paved trail leads from the parking area to the base of this waterfall, which flows year-round. Walk back to the parking area via the same trail. Expect lots of spray in spring and early summer; you may encounter icy conditions in winter.
Lower Yosemite Fall (easy, but icy in winter)
1 mile/1.6 km loop; 30 minutes [half of loop wheelchair accessible] [leashed pets allowed]
Begin at the Lower Yosemite Fall Trailhead (shuttle stop #6)
This short, easy walk rewards with spectacular views of Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls. This waterfall is often dry from late July or August through October. However, expect spray in spring and early summer.
Cook’s Meadow Loop (easy, but may be a little snowy or icy in winter)
1 mile/1.6 km loop; 30 minutes [wheelchair accessible] [leashed pets allowed]
Begin at Valley Visitor Center (shuttle stop #5 or #9)
This short, easy walk offers stunning views of Half Dome, Glacier Point, and Royal Arches. From the visitor center, walk west along the bike path toward Lower Yosemite Fall. At shuttle stop #6, cross the street and follow the bike path, bearing left as the path forks. At Sentinel Bridge parking area, walk out onto the bridge to enjoy a classic view of Half Dome before returning to the parking area. Follow the boardwalk back across the meadow, cross the two streets, and turn right to return to the visitor center.
Mirror Lake/Meadow (easy, but may be a little snowy or icy in winter)
2 miles/3.2 km round-trip; 1 hour [wheelchair accessible] [leashed pets allowed]
5 miles/8 km loop around the lake; 2 hours [pets not allowed on full loop]
Begin at Mirror Lake Trailhead (shuttle stop #17)
From the shuttle stop, a paved trail leads directly to Mirror Lake. At the stone bridge, you can turn right to take the five-mile loop or remain on the paved trail to continue to Mirror Lake. Mirror Lake has little water much of the year, but in spring and early summer it can grow in size. When water is calm, the lake offers beautiful reflections of surrounding cliffs. Exhibits detail the story of the area’s lake-to-meadow succession. This can be a good place to spot wildlife.
As with other national parks, the National Park Service has specific rules for pet visitors:
- Pets are only allowed
- in developed areas
- on fully paved trails and roads except trails signed as not allowing pets (pets are not allowed off the floor of Yosemite Valley, including the trail to Vernal Fall)
- in campgrounds (except walk-in campgrounds and in group campsites)
- Pets are not allowed
- on unpaved or poorly paved trails, or trails signed as not allowing pets (however, pets are allowed on the Wawona Meadow Loop)
- on unplowed roads covered in snow
- in Wilderness areas
- on shuttle buses
- in concessioner lodging areas
- in all walk-in and group campgrounds/campsites
- in any group or horse camps
- Pets must be restrained on a leash not more than six feet long or otherwise physically restrained
- Leashed pets may not be left unattended
- For the courtesy of other visitors, human companions are responsible for cleaning up and depositing pet feces in trash receptacles
- Remember that pet food is also bear food: store pet food as if it were human food.
These regulations protect both pets and wildlife from disease and each other. The National Park Service has prohibited pets on trails for many years. In particular, dogs chase wildlife, pollute water sources, and can become defensive and dangerous in unfamiliar surroundings. Pet owners have the burden to assure their pet does not damage the park values for others in those areas where pets are allowed.
DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite operates a dog kennel in Yosemite Valley from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Written proof of immunizations (rabies, distemper, parvo, and Bordetella) must be provided. Dogs must be at least 20 pounds (smaller dogs may be considered if you provide a small kennel). You can get more information about the kennel by calling 209/372-8348.
Yosemite National Park covers nearly 1,200 square miles of mountainous terrain in the Sierra Nevada of California. Yosemite is open all year, though some areas of the park are inaccessible by car from approximately November through May due to snow. You can drive your car into and around Yosemite, though we encourage you to useshuttles in some areas.
Reservations are not required to enter Yosemite, however we strongly recommend that you make reservations for camping or lodging if you plan to spend the night.
More information about getting to and around Yosemite: