ASPCA's Pet Care Tips: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care
(Crate Training information provided by www.purina.com)
Dogs feel secure in small, enclosed spaces, like a den.
Dog crates make excellent dens. It is a safe place for him to stay when you're away or when you cannot watch him.
Watch your own dog around home. Where do you find him napping in his deepest sleep? Under the table, desk, chair? Yes, somewhere out of the traffic pattern where he has a roof overhead and a little privacy. A crate offers security, a den with a roof, and a place to call his very own where he can go to get away from it all.
There are basically just a few steps in 'crate' training:
Choose a crate the same size as your puppy/dog. He should only have enough room to stand up, turn around and lie down. His crate is for sleeping or for a safe place to be when you cannot be with him. If you get a huge crate for a small dog, he may eliminate in one end and sleep in the other and you will have defeated the whole purpose of using the crate (dogs do not like to eliminate anywhere where they sleep or eat). If you have a puppy who will grow into a 60-70 lb. dog, you may have to buy two different crate sizes or purchase a crate with a divider you can move as he grows.
Use a single-word command for your dog to enter his crate, for example, 'KENNEL'; throw in a treat or piece of kibble; when the dog/puppy enters, praise him and close the crate door. Increase the time he spends in the crate before you let him back out. Remember, your dog still needs time to play and eliminate. Maintain a regular schedule of trips outdoors so as not to confine him too long.
As a general guide, your puppy can stay in his crate comfortably for several hours, depending on his age. Take his age in months, add 1 month, and that's how many hours he should be able to stay in his crate (up to about 8 hours). For example, a 2-month old pup should be comfortable in his crate for about 3 hours (2 mth old pup + 1 mth = 3 hours in his crate).
Always take your puppy/dog outside to the same area in your backyard to eliminate on a leash so you can praise him when his job is finished. This will take the guesswork out of his visits to the backyard. And don't forget to play with him and exercise him. He needs this kind of stimulation for his mental and physical wellness.
Remember, your dog or puppy is a pack animal by nature and he will be looking to you for direction. Your job as a responsible pet owner is to give him that direction so you can enjoy each other as true companions should.
Tips for Traveling with Pets
(Tips provided by www.purina.com)
As holiday plans get underway, you may be thinking about taking your pet with you. Before you decide, ask yourself these questions:
Will it be welcome at our vacation destination?
Will it enjoy the trip?
Is my pet in good health?
If you've answered 'yes,' accustom your pet to riding in your car. Begin with short rides each day and gradually increase the length of each ride.
If your pet is unable to adjust to short rides, a responsible sitter or a boarding kennel or cattery is preferable. If you board your pet, make reservations well in advance,especially for summer months and major holidays.
Safe trip checklist
Are your pet's vaccinations up-to-date?
Does your pet have appropriate heartworm protection if the mosquito season begins earlier or ends later in the area you will be visiting?
Packing for Your Pet
Carry health and rabies certificates with you. They may be needed if you fly anywhere or may be required if you board your pet during your trip. They are required if you cross international borders.
Pack your pet's water and food bowls, grooming equipment and any heartworm or other medicine it may require. If you are not certain that your pet's usual diet will be available at your destination, take a supply with you to avoid digestive upsets which could be caused by a sudden diet change.
Be certain your pet is wearing an identification tag giving its name, your name and home address and telephone number including the area code. If possible, your vacation address and telephone number should also be included.
Take color pictures of your pet and a written description of its colorings and distinguishing marks.
Record your pet's body size and weight. If your pet is lost, these identification aids could make the difference in locating it.
Do not feed your pet for at least three hours before leaving on a trip. Take your dog for a walk just before you start the drive. You will still have to stop along the way, but your dog will be more comfortable as the trip gets underway.
During stops, provide fresh drinking water for your dog. You may also reward it with a dog snack for being a good traveler.
If the drive is eight hours or longer, give your cat the opportunity to use a litter pan three or four times, and offer it fresh drinking water.
Feed your pet shortly after you arrive at your destination or when you have stopped for the day.
If your car has adequate space, using a carrier is the safest way for your dog to travel. A cat should always be confined in a carrier. Never put the carrier on the sunny side of the car where your pet may become overheated.
If a carrier is not feasible for your dog, consider using a restraining harness. They come in different sizes to fit all breeds and are available at pet supply stores.
Always put your dog on a leash before letting it out of the car. If you walk your dog on the highway at night, wear reflective strips on your clothing and place a reflective collar on your dog for visibility and protection.
Avoid leaving your pet in a closed car on a hot day. Temperatures in cars can rise quickly even if the windows are open slightly. The heat and insufficient air circulation can quickly lead to heat stress, suffocation and death.
Traveling By Air
Try to avoid peak travel periods when delays and stopovers are longer. Traveling in extreme hot or cold weather may be dangerous if your pet must wait very long before loading and unloading. Plan a trip with as few stops and transfers as possible.
Make hotel, resort and airline reservations for your pet well in advance. Some airlines have limited space for transporting pets.
Some airlines allow cats and small dogs to travel (generally for an additional charge) with their owner if the carrier fits under the passenger seat. Otherwise,rent or purchase a carrier or crate which meets airline regulations and affix a LIVE ANIMAL sticker. Mark it with your name and address and the name of a person who can be contacted about your pet at your destination if necessary.
Put a cushion or blanket on the crate floor. Attach a water cup to the crate door.The cup should be deep, but not too full of water to avoid spilling.
On the day of the flight, take your dog for a long walk before leaving for the airport.
At the end of the trip, pick up your pet promptly.
Certain countries and island destinations require a quarantine period for animals at the owner's expense. Ask your travel agent or the consul of the country you plan to
visit about quarantines.
A Final Thought
At your vacation site, observe all regulations regarding pets. Confine your pet in a carrier or restricted space when leaving it alone. Your consideration will help keep pets welcome guests.