Make Sure your Pet is Safe and Not Left Behind

Pet owners, September is Emergency Preparedness Month so take a moment to ensure that your pet is not left behind in a disaster. If you are like millions of animal owners nationwide, your pet is an important member of your household and it is important to be prepared for the unexpected situation.

The likelihood that you and your animals will survive an emergency such as a fire or flood, tornado or terrorist attack depends largely on emergency planning done today. Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling an animal emergency supply kit and developing a pet care buddy system, are the same for any emergency. Whether you decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to a safer location, you will need to make plans in advance for your pets. Keep in mind that what’s best for you is typically what’s best for your animals.

If you evacuate your home, do not leave your pets behind! Pets most likely cannot survive on their own and if by some remote chance they do, you may not be able to find them when you return.

If you are going to a public shelter, it is important to understand that animals may not be allowed inside. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets; consider loved ones or friends outside of your immediate area who would be willing to host you and your pets in an emergency.

Make a back-up emergency plan in case you can’t care for your animals yourself. Develop a buddy system with neighbors, friends and relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least three days, maybe longer.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has devoted an entire section on its Ready site towards tailoring a plan for animals and pets. Here, you will find guidelines on planning for pet needs during a disaster, guidelines for larger animals, and where to go for more information.

You are also able to download FEMA’s free brochure on Preparing Your Pets for Emergencies. The information in the brochure was developed in consultation with the American Kennel Club (AKC), The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and the Humane Society of the United States.


Source: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)


Labor day picnicking with family, friends and pets is the classic way to savor the last days of summer. Our pets certainly love this ritual just as much as us as it means more quality time spent in the great outdoors. Amid all the fun and activity it can be easy to lose sight of the lurking dangers to our pets. After all, who would think a potato chip bag could kill a pet? Pets love to lick the crumbs from chip bags, but in doing so their heads may get stuck in the bag, the pet then panics depleting the oxygen in the bag, and then quickly suffocates. This problem is far more common than you think. Watch this video from The Preventive Vet on pet suffocation and how you can take easy steps to prevent pet suffocation.

There are many other unexpected pet picnic dangers like corn cobs and cocoa mulch. The Animal Medical Center in New York has a brief but informative slideshow outlining Pet Picnic Perils at


It’s National Dog Day – paws up for dogs, arguably the happiest of travel companions!

Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 4.18.23 PM


Oz the Terrier is always ready for a travel adventure!

by Oz the Terrier of

“Who wants to go for a ride in the car?”

I am sure several sets of ears perked up when they heard that question!

It’s a doggie dog world out there and what dog wouldn’t want to go explore it?  I love going on a road trip with Ma and Daddy-dog whether we are just going to the park or a friend’s house or we are going on one of our camping adventures.  No dog wants to be left behind and miss all the fun.

With that in mind, I would like to share some Travel Safety Tips so that your road trip adventures are both fun and safe.

1) Don’t end up in the doghouse.
Wherever you are going (hotel, campsite, park, etc.), make sure they allow pets before you set off on your trip.2) Don’t be sick as a dog.
Be sure you have had a check up and all necessary vaccinations before you leave.  Some veterinarians will even give you a Health Certificate as proof you are up-to-date on all your vaccinations.

3) Don’t go chasing your own tail.
Always know where to find the closest veterinarian/animal hospital to your destination as accidents can happen.  A great resource is the AVMA’s, where you can search Vets by zip code or city/state.

4) Do have your name all over it.
Be sure to have an accurate ID tag with your name, address and phone number in case you get lost.  If you are microchipped, remember to keep your registration information updated.

5) Do stay on a short leash.
Remember to be properly restrained while in the car.  I use my safety harness which attaches to the child safety restraints provided in the back seat of the car.  You can read more about my harness HERE.

You can also be in a carrier so long as it is appropriately sized so you can lie down, stand up and turn around, but not so big that could get thrown around in case of sudden stops or a collision.  There are several kinds of carriers; I have written about one pet carrier HERE.

6) Do see a man about a dog…or two.
Frequent stops on road trips are a must!  Everyone needs an opportunity to do their business, stretch and mentally exercise by checking out their surroundings.

7) Have a dog’s breakfast…and lunch and dinner.
Whenever you make a pit stop be sure to drink plenty of water.  Pack plenty of water and food for your trip and try to keep your feeding schedule close to normal.

8) Get in the picture.
Make sure your humans have a recent picture of you in their wallet or on their phone, so if you get lost, they can easily use the picture to help find you.

9) Have a memory like an elephant.
Don’t forget to bring your medications with you including any flea and tick preventatives if you will be gone for an extended time.

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

_________________________________________________________________________________Oz_03-300x214Oz 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
(photo credit: Amtrak)

(photo credit: Amtrak)

Amtrak and the Illinois Department of Transportation announced yesterday that they are adding a second route to their carry-on pet pilot program. The new route, a Chicago-Champaign-Carbondale route of the Illini and Saluki trains, allows travelers to bring their small pets on trips from Chicago to downstate Illinois.

In addition, Amtrak’s care-on pilot program has been extended through April 26, 1015. The program was originally scheduled to end in November. The first route in this pet pilot program allowed travelers to bring their pets along between Chicago and Quincy on Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg trains.

Read more about Amtrak’s carry-on pet pilot program in a previous Pet Travel Experts post here.


Airline pilot wearing uniform with epaulettes with little puppy, dog breed is Maltese. Good photo to

Last week, the Department of Transportation (DOT) expanded air carrier reporting requirements for incidents involving animals during air transport. Now 27 airlines, instead of only 14, face stricter reporting requirements effective January 1, 2015. What this means for the consumer: the consumer can make more informed decisions on air travel with pets because an airline’s  safety record is more transparent.

The final rule: (1) Expands the reporting requirement to U.S. carriers that operate scheduled service with at least one aircraft with a design capacity of more than 60 seats (“covered carriers”); (2) expands the definition of “animal” to any warm- or cold-blooded animal which, at the time of transportation, is being kept as a pet in a family household in the United States and any dog or cat which, at the time of transportation, is shipped as part of a commercial shipment on a scheduled passenger flight, including shipments by trainers and breeders; (3) requires covered carriers to file a calendar-year report for December, even if the carrier did not have any reportable incidents during the calendar year; (4) requires covered carriers to provide in their December reports the total number of animals that were lost, injured, or died during air transport in the calendar year; (5) requires covered carriers to provide in their December reports the total number of animals transported in the calendar year; and (6) requires covered carriers to provide in their December reports a certification signed by an authorized carrier representative affirming that the report is true, correct, and complete. (Source: Office of the Federal Register)


The Crash Test Hero Giveaway winner is… super Sleepypod fan Nichole S. from Silver Spring, MD! Congratulations, a Sleepypod package is on its way!



MAX, the lovable Sleepypod crash test dog, may be small but he’s one mighty crash test hero! We’re celebrating MAX’s appearance in the new Smithsonian Channel documentary, “Crash Test Heroes: The Dummy Revolution,” with a super special giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive 2 Sleepypod products not available for sale (be one of only a few super fur kids to have them) + 1 Sleepypod product not yet unveiled (be one of the first super fur kids to have one).

Here are the prizes:

18K gold-plated MAX pendant (delivery after contest winner verification)

18K gold-plated MAX pendant (delivery after contest winner verification)

Mini Crash Test MAX toy (delivery after contest winner verification)

Mini MAX stuffed toy (delivery after contest winner verification)

Choice of one Sleepypod product to be unveiled at the end of July and delivered mid-September. Value of $64.99-$179.99.

Choice of one Sleepypod product to be unveiled at the end of July and delivered mid-September. Value of $64.99-$179.99.



Giveaway items:

  • Winner chooses one (1) Sleepypod product to be introduced in July 2014. Item value is  $64.99-$179.99, value depends on item chosen by winner. Delivery to contest winner in September 2014.
  • Winner wins one (1) Sleepypod 18K gold-plated MAX pendant. Item is not available for retail sale, value is $00.00. Delivery to contest winner within 14 days after contest winner verification.
  • Winner wins one (1) Sleepypod Mini MAX stuffed toy.  Item is not available for retail sale, value is $00.00. Delivery to contest winner within 14 days after contest winner verification.

TOTAL GIVEAWAY VALUE:  $64.99-$179.99, total value depends on item 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 winner is 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.

Entry Period:

  • Contest begins: Thursday, June 26, 2014 at 12 p.m. EST
  • Contest ends: Thursday, July 3, 2014 at 12 p.m. EST


  • Entry method:
  • 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 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.

Winner notification:

  • Potential winner 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.
Requirements of the potential winner:
  • Except where prohibited, the potential winner 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.

Giveaway results:

  • Winner results will be posted in the “Giveaways” section of the Pet Travel Experts blog (

woman with a dog run along coast

Jogging with your furry pal while traveling offers a unique opportunity to explore new environs — different sights and smells, a stretch of the legs and healthy cardiovascular exercise, and most important, a remarkable bonding experience.

There is, however, more to consider when jogging with your dog than just throwing on a pair of running shoes and grabbing the leash. Here’s a brief but informative infographic of considerations if you plan to jog with your dog from 4 Paws University.



For more information on 4Paws University, go to


Taking in a major or minor league baseball game with your dog offers a unique bonding opportunity. (Photo credit: Happy Black Dog Media)

Taking in a major or minor league baseball game with your dog offers a unique bonding opportunity. (Photo: Happy Black Dog Media)

The term “play ball” takes on a a new definition with your pup at the old ballpark. Many major and minor league baseball teams  set aside specific games  when you may bring your pup to enjoy a day with you at the ball field, usually with some amount of the proceeds going to a local animal shelter.

The term "play ball" takes on a a new definition with your pup this summer at the old ballpark. (Photo: Happy Black Dog Media)

The term “play ball” takes on a a new definition with your pup this summer at the old ballpark. (Photo: Happy Black Dog Media)

The Nationals in Washington, D.C. have hosted Pups in the Park for the last several years, setting aside a limited number of tickets for pups and their owners with one hundred percent of the proceeds from the dog tickets ($10 each) benefitting the Washington Humane Society. Check the web site of  the major or minor league baseball team in your area for availability.

Here’s a list of Major League Baseball teams and their web sites:



Here’s a list of Minor League Baseball leagues and their web sites: