Pet Friendly National Parks in the United States

As the world slowly recovers from the pandemic and we tire of confinement, pet owners are planning for vacations their best friends. If fresh air and camping or hiking in a national park is your thing, and you plan to take your furry friend with you (of course you do because, for sure, it is their thing), then consider enjoying the wonders and beauty of nature by visiting one of the great pet friendly national parks in the United States.

Pet Friendly Parks in the United States
Photo Credit: Spencer Hurley –

While there are many parks that allow your pooch to explore trails and other park attractions with you, ignoring rules and regulations imposed on both pets and their owners while planning your travel is not wise. Keeping everyone safe and happy is important.  Don’t try to avoid park rules as they are posted for very good reasons.

The first rule to know when visiting any national park is that your dog must be leashed at all times. Federal regulations require all pets to be restrained on a leash no longer than six feet (2 m). This is for your dog’s safety as well as the safety of others. Why? Because you never know what type of animal you will bump into when hiking in national parks. Also, straying off trails can be dog-gone dangerous!  Make sure your dog as well as other dogs, people, and wildlife stays safe by obeying all park regulations.

As with bringing your dog any public place, make sure you clean up after your pet. No one wants to step in a smelly mess when walking along the trails. Outdoor activities bring fleas and ticks, so make sure you take proper precautions to protect your dog.

Acadia National Park – Maine

pet friendly arcadia national park
Photo Credit: James Wheeler –

At 3.1 million visitors per year, Acadia National Park is, not surprisingly, one of the top 10 most visited national parks in the country, and there is a good reason why. Referred to as the Crown Jewel of the Atlantic Coast, its rich cultural heritage and natural habitats make for a beautiful place for both you and your dog to be in summer or winter.

When bringing your dog to this beautiful park, there are a few limitations as to where they can explore.

The park has 158 miles of hiking trails total, and there are 100 miles (161 km) of hiking trails and 45 miles (72 km) of carriage roads in the park where pets are permitted. Make sure to check with park rangers to find exactly which trails your pet is permitted to explore with you.

There are also some areas that are off-limits to all dogs except for seeing-eye dogs and service dogs. 

  • All lakes
  • Some trails
  • Sand Beach – from June 15 to Sept 8.
  • Echo Lake – from May 15 to Sept. 15
  • Duck Harbor Campground (dogs are permitted in Blackwoods, Seawall, and Schoodic Woods campgrounds)
  • Public buildings 
  • Ranger-led programs. 

Cuyahoga Valley National Park – Ohio

Located only a short distance from Cleveland and Akron, Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a great place to escape. Its namesake, the Cuyahoga River winds its way through all sorts of surroundings, from forests to hills to farmlands.

There are some rules for your pup at this Ohio park. There are many trails your pet can walk with you on a leash, including 30 miles of the Towpath Trail. This trail follows a historical canal and was once used for mules to pull boats through the canal.

Even though your furry friend is like family to you, they will not be allowed in any public building, or the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Train, or the East Rim mountain bike trails. 

There are no restrictions as to when you can bring your pets to Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Grand Canyon National Park – Arizona

Grand Canyon National Park
Photo Credit: David Mark –

The Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most famous pet friendly national parks in the United States. There is no need to describe the beauty of the Grand Canyon. Its immense size, picturesque geologic color and amazing erosional forms are jaw-dropping, but it is extremely important that you follow all park guidelines for your dog to avoid any issues.

Your pets are allowed on the trails above the South Rim, Mather Campground, Desert View Campground, Trailer Village, and throughout developed areas. 

The Grand Canyon only has one lodge with pet-friendly rooms. That is the Yavapai Lodge. If you are planning a day trip to hike down to the Colorado River or the North Rim, boarding them at the South Rim Kennel may be the best solution as this hike is not suitable for our furry friends.

You and your pet can visit at any time, however, proof of vaccinations is required before entering this pet friendly national park. The North Rim is closed during the winter; however, the South Rim is open year round.

Hot Springs National Park – Arkansas 

Hot Springs National Park
Photo Credit: Mike Goad

Something out of paradise is best used to describe Hot Springs National Park. Located just north of the city of Hot Springs in Arkansas, this national park has 143 degree thermal waters to relax and soothe your every aching muscle. The park even provides pet waste stations for your convenience. Amply nick named “The American Spa,” you will leave this park in a better frame of mind.

The only places pets are not allowed are the visitor’s center and other public buildings, and of course, the hot springs. Rest assured, your dog will be ready for a rest after exploring all of the trails in this park and so will you!

This is another park that welcomes you and your pet, and there are no restrictions on when pets can enter.

Mammoth Cave National Park -, Kentucky

Pet Friendly Mammoth Cave National Park

With over 400 miles of underground caves, Mammoth Cave National Park is home to the world’s longest known cave system on earth! But that’s not all. There are over 70 miles of trails, 13 back country campsites, three campgrounds, and a river that is over 20 miles long for you and your pet to explore and enjoy.

If you are thinking of bringing your pet to this park, you should know that service animals are the only pets permitted in any of the caves; however, there is a kennel for your dog available. You can crash with your pet at the Woodland Cottages.

Check the park website for more information. It looks like this is another pet friendly national parks in the United States that would love your pooch anytime!

Natchez Trace National Parkway – Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee 

Natchez Trace National Parkway
Photo Credit: M?d?lina Vl?du?? –

Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444-mile recreational road and scenic drive through Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. This historic road follows the “Old Natchez Trace” a road used by American Indians, European settlers, slave traders, soldiers, and even past presidents.

While you and your best friend cruise along this parkway, you can enjoy camping, hiking, biking, and horseback riding.  This is a great place for a vacation, and if you bring your dog, there are very few restrictions. You can enjoy the park trails and viewpoints with your dog; however, keep them out of public buildings. You must always keep your pet on a leash and remember to pick up after them.

Shenandoah National Park – Virginia

Two hundred acres of protected lands are awaiting you and your pup at Shenandoah National Park. This is a pristine place with cascading waterfalls, vistas, and wooded hollows and well worth a visit. It is a beautiful park and very pet friendly.

There are over 500 miles for you and your four-legged hiker to enjoy and only a mere 20 miles are off limits to pets. Check the website for exact locations.

The other pet-friendly areas in the park are the campsite and pet friendly lodging locations. Remember to always keep your dog on a leash and to pick up their mess.

Unfortunately, the Ranger family programs such as The Wild About Bears program and Shenandoah Kid Explorers are off limits to pets.

Although there are no limits on what time of year your pet can accompany you, keep up to date on the weather conditions, and make sure you have enough water for you and your pet at all times.

White Sands National Park- New Mexico

White Sands National Park
Photo Credit: John Howard –

Known as one of the world’s great natural wonders, the 275 square miles of white gypsum sand in White Sands National Park is truly worth your time to visit.

If you are heading here and are bringing your pet, there are a few things you should know.

Although there are not a ton of restrictions for your dog, you may not bring them into any public building such as the visitors center. Keep in mind that the temperatures may be high; so remember to bring plenty of water for both you and your dog to avoid overheating and dehydration. Of course, never leave your pet in the car unattended, not even for a minute. 

There are only a few simple rules, but these rules can make a huge impact on the safety of your pet. White Sands National Park would love to have your pooch visit any time of the year. Keep in mind the hot, dry climate, especially in the summer. 

Yellowstone National Park- Wyoming 

Yellowstone National Park
Image by Siegfried Poepperl from Pixabay

Yellowstone National Park is one of the most iconic national parks in the United States. Hosting millions of visitors each year, both winter and summer seasons offer an abundance of hydrothermal and geologic wonders. After all, who hasn’t heard of the famous geyser, Old Faithful?

As this park is so popular and your dog will be around many other people, park pet policies are very important.

Pets are only allowed in developed areas. They must remain within 100 feet from roadways and campgrounds to lessen the chance of getting lost. For the safety of your dog and others, it is necessary to keep your dog either on a leash, in a crate, or secure in your car.

Because this park hosts so many “look but don’t touch” natural attractions, and, because the park is full of wild animals, your dog will not be allowed on trails, in thermal areas, the back country or on the boardwalk. These rules are made for the safety of all people and animals.

There are no kennels in Yellowstone National Park. Pet owners will need to find accommodations for their pets in nearby communities should they want to venture into the back country or wander along the boardwalk.

Lassen Volcanic National Park – California

Pet Friendly Lasssen Volcanic National Park
Photo Credit: David Mark –

Lassen Volcanic National Park is full of geologic wonders like clear mountain lakes, jagged peaks and, of course, many volcanoes. There are also fumaroles which are holes in the ground where steam escapes. (Who knew?)

Generally, your pet can go anywhere in the park in an automobile. It can be in the campgrounds, picnic areas, and along the shoulders of roads. Because the wonders of this park can also be dangerous, your dog is not allowed on any hiking trail, in the back country, or anywhere that is snow-covered. Swimming is also out, so if your furry friend loves to swim, best to distract them with other attractions. 

You need to keep your pets physically restrained overnight at your campsite. They may be left unattended in your vehicle, providing the temperatures are safe to do so. Your pet is welcome anytime; however, in order to get the full experience, it is probably best to come during the summer. Fewer snow-covered areas equals more exploring!

These are just a few of the pet friendly national parks in the United States. You can enjoy the wonders of nature with your pet in 61 recognized parks in the national park system. Just make sure you are aware of the pet policies beforehand. Remember, clean up after your pet, and keep them on a leash. It is respectful and makes for a better trip experience for all.

Marina Yoveva is originally from Bulgaria but she considers herself a citizen of the world. Having traveled to over 20 countries and counting, she loves writing about her adventures, experiences, and advice on her blog Exploreist.

Is Your Pet Transiting the EU on its Trip? Here’s Something Important You Need to Know

Courtesy of Adobe Stock Images

In January, 2021, the European Union (EU) adopted legislation to protect livestock and animals that enter or transit the EU in order to prevent and eradicate disease. This law also “allows greater use of new technologies for animal health activities – surveillance of pathogens, electronic identification and registration of animals (1)” according to the European Commission. The Animal Health Law otherwise known as Regulation (EU) 2016/429, applies also to the movement of companion animals like dogs, cats, small mammals, reptiles and the like. This is why, if your pet’s itinerary calls for transiting the EU and it is flying as air cargo, this law will apply and it is important that you understand it.

What is air cargo service?

There are 3 classes of service available that live animals can fly under on a commercial airline. Some commercial airlines may not offer all three services. They may offer only one or two or they may not be pet friendly at all. That is why it is important to research airline pet policies before booking your pet’s travel.

  1. In-cabin – your pet is a small cat or dog (or sometimes small bird or other pet) flying in the cabin with an adult paying passenger in an airline-compliant pet carrier.
  2. Checked Baggage – your cat or dog under 75-80 lbs (or sometimes other animal) flying in the cargo hold whose itinery is connected with an adult paying passenger on the same flight
  3. Manifest Air Cargo – for very large pets and otheranimals flying unaccompanied or flying to countries that require that live animals enter as air cargo (UK, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, South Africa, etc.)

Currently, the Animal Health Law applies to all air cargo transports; however, the law will apply also to in-cabin and checked baggage transports in April of 2026. Depending on how you route your pet’s trip and whether your route involves a country that is classified as an Unlisted Third Country by the EU, this law will have significant impacts on how your pet is prepared to travel.

What is a transit?

A transit is when your pet remains on the same airline in and out of a layover airport. If the flight numbers on your itinerary remain the same on your itinerary on both legs of your trip, then your pet will remain on board the same aircraft. This is an uncommon occurance, especially if the layover is in the airline’s hub airport, but it does happen. As long as your pet does not need to depart the aircraft, then this new regulation will not apply. If your pet must change aircraft when transiting, as it will in most cases, then the new regulation will apply, even if your pet is staying on the same airline.

What is a layover?

A layover is when you have a non-direct flight, and your pet will be changing aircraft in the layover airport. If your pet is changing airline companies in the layover airport, (Lufthansa to Brussels Airlines, for example), then your pet will need to clear customs and enter the layover country to check it on the next airline. The reason for this is because airlines do not interline pets between airline companies. The new regulation will absolutely apply in this case. Your pet will need all documentation required to enter the layover country.

Comfort Stops

Your airline may mandate a comfort stop (kenneling) for any pet whose itinerary exceeds a certain length of time in the cargo hold. This mandate will vary from airline to airline depending on the animal welfare regulations in the country in which they are based; however, as an example, most US-based airlines limit the flight time for pets 8-9 hours. Airlines based in Asia are longer. The transit time can start at tender (check-in) time through recovery (which could be up to 2 hours after arrival at the layover airport or final destination). Basically, the amount of time your pet will spend in its crate. You should work with your airline regarding comfort stops if your pet’s trip will be lenthy. If your airline requires a comfort stop, then this new regulation will apply if the comfort stop takes place in an EU airport.

My pet is flying as air cargo and will be stopping at an EU airport. What documents will my pet need to conform to the new regulations?

If your pet’s itinerary includes only rabies-controlled countries, then your pet will need the following documentation to transit or layover in the EU:

  • all required documentation for your destination country
  • proof of microchip implanted on or before rabies vaccination
  • current rabies vaccination
  • Endorsed EU Health Certificate for the layover country
  • Tapeworm treatment (UK, Ireland, Finland, Malta and Norway)

If your pet’s flight plan originates, has transit, layover or comfort stop in or your pet terminates in a country classified by the EU as high-rabies, then, in addition to the above documents, your pet will need proof of a rabies titer test with results greater than 0.5 IU/ml administered more than 3 calendar months prior to travel. If your pet is traveling to a high-rabies country and will be returning to your country with a layover in the EU, you should get the test done before leaving the for your trip.

Let’s look at some examples.

EXAMPLE #1: Your pet is flying from YYZ (Toronto) > CDG (Paris) with Air France, then CDG (Paris) > AMS (Amsterdam) with KLM then returning AMS > CDG > CDG > YYZ

Requirements for YYZ > CDG > AMS

  1. All documents required for entering France including the Commercial or Non-Commercial EU Health Certificate for France (valid for 10 days after issuance)
  2. Proof of microchip implanted at the same time or before rabies vaccination
  3. Proof of current rabies vaccination

Your pet will be able to use the same health certificate to enter the Netherlands that was used to enter France.

Requirements for AMS > CDG > YYZ

  1. All documents required for entering France including a Commercial or Non-Commercial EU Health Certificate (new certificate)
  2. Proof of microchip implanted at the same time or before rabies vaccination
  3. Proof of current rabies vaccination

EXAMPLE #2: Your pet is flying JFK (New York) > FRA (Frankfurt) > BOM (Mumbai) then returning BOM > FRA > JFK:


  1. All documents required for entering India
  2. Proof of microchip implanted at the same time or before rabies vaccination
  3. Proof of current rabies vaccination
  4. Commercial or Non-Commercial EU Health Certificate for Germany (valid for 10 days from issuance)


  1. Import Permit (unless proof of current rabies vaccination in administered in the US is available)
  2. Proof of current rabies vaccination
  3. Export Health Certificate from India
  4. Proof of microchip implanted at the same time or before rabies vaccination
  5. Commercial or Non-Commercial EU Health Certificate for Germany (new certificate)
  6. Rabies Titer Test administered 3 months prior to transiting in Germany

All EU health certificates issued for transit as well as entry must be endorsed by the government agency in the departing country that is responsible for the import and export of live animals. Generally, veterinary services is a division of the Department or Ministry of Agriculture. Exporters should submit both the health certificate for the transit or layover country (marked TRANSIT) as well as the health certificate for the destination country. The certificate numbers for both forms on the health certificates should be the same, if required. Consignee information should also be the same including the destination address.

EU health certificates are only valid for 10 days after issuance, so, very likely, a new certificate will need to be issued in the departing country when returning home.

Remember that currently this new regulation applies for all pets transiting the EU as air cargo, even if both transit or layover country and destination country are located in the EU. Pet owners who cannot fly with their pet or flying with their pet to any country that requires pets to enter as air cargo should be aware of these new requirements for EU transits, layovers or comfort stops in the European Union.

Quick Tips for Preparing Your Pet for Auto Travel

Travel with a dog in the car
Photo Credit: Emerson Peters –

Thinking of hitting the road with your pet in a car this spring or summer? Believe it or not, now is the time to start preparing your pet for that family trip, especially if it will be the first time that your pet travels with you. Here are a few good tips to preparing your pet for auto travel and making the trip easier for everyone.

Take short trips in the car – get your pet used to their restraining device. If you have a small pet, a carrier or bolster seat may be the right way to go. If you have a larger dog or a well behaved cat, a harness will keep them safe as well as other passengers riding in the car. The best way to protect any pet in a car is a pet crate or carrier buckled into the seat. Whatever you decide, your pet will need time to get used to riding in the car.

Take a trip to the vet – travel is stressful, not only for us but for our pets. Make sure that your pet is healthy and all vaccinations are current, especially rabies. Get refills of any medications that your pet is taking. A health certificate is always a good idea and may be required depending on your country and your trip.

Plan to stop frequently – although most older and larger dogs can last between 10 to 12 hours before a rest stop, it is advised to stop and allow them to stretch their legs every 4-5 hours. Puppies and kittens can last about an hour for every month of life, so a puppy that is 3 months of age can last 3 hours between breaks. As this can vary between breeds and puppies, planning more frequent stops is a good idea.

Route your trip carefully – if your trip will be long distance, then highway driving may be the best option as it will mean less time in the car. Try to avoid high-traffic areas where you may encounter bumper-to-bumper traffic. Coming to a standstill will trigger “it’s time for a walk” and your pet is likely to get restless.

If you are planning a relatively short trip or you are not in a hurry, then consider taking the back roads and enjoy the scenery with your pup or kitty. There will be more opportunities to stop and explore along the way.

Find a pet friendly hotel early if you will need one. Many pet friendly hotels reserve a fixed number of rooms for pets, so reserving early is important. After finding a pet friendly hotel, call them to be sure to confirm their pet policy. Make sure you have a room on the ground floor for easy access if this is possible. Ask if there are pet friendly amenities nearby.

Socialize your pet – take them to a neighborhood dog park or walk your dog so they are exposed to other dogs and people. You will be stopping along the way on your trip and you want to be sure that your dog will not be aggressive towards other dogs.

Pick the right place in the car for them – your pet will suffer less anxiety on the road if you position them where they can see you. It is safest to restrain your pet in the backseat of the car; but put them behind the passenger seat if you will be driving. Having you in their line of sight will reduce their level of anxiousness. Removing them from their normal environment is stressful enough. Knowing that you are with them will comfort them.

Related: Traveling with an Anxious Pet in the Car

Groom your pet – dog grooming is extremely important right before a trip. A bath and clip will make the trip more pleasant for everyone, especially your pet. Your pet needs to be accustomed to being groomed and handled so start early if you can. Be sure and treat your pet for ticks and tapeworm (dogs) as your pet will be exposed to new environments. Tick repellant collars may also be useful.

Get the right equipment and get your pet accustomed to using it prior to travel. You will need a strong leash at hand at all times. When stopping for a rest, be sure and do not let your pet out of the car until they are leashed and you have your footing. Do not use a retractable lead if possible as you sacrifice control with larger dogs. You will need portable water and food bowls, bottles of water from home, towels or wipes and a portable kitty litter tray if you are traveling long distances with a cat. Bring enough of your dog’s food to last the trip. Changing food can upset a pet’s digestive tract and may result in unpleasant consequences.

If you are crossing country borders, be sure and plan a trip to your vet to fill out the required documentation for the country you will be visiting. Have your pet microchipped and register the microchip so officials can find your contract information should your pet go missing.

Preparing your pet for auto travel will make your trip so much more enjoyable for everyone traveling. Your dog or cat will know what to expect and will be very happy to be included in your family trip. Safe travels!

Explore 7 of the Best Dog Friendly Cities in the World

girl with dog in pet friendly city
Photo Credit: Meghan Bucknall –

Is there anything greater than seeing a happy dog wagging its tail, playing fetch, and enjoying a day out? Even if you don’t have your own four-legged friend of your own, there’s no denying that even five minutes with a dog can make your day that little bit brighter. And the great thing is, with so many people out there who feel the same way, the world is slowly becoming a much more dog-friendly place. That said, some places are better suited for a day out than others. 

So, whether you’re a dog owner looking for a dog friendly place to take your pooch, or you’re just a dog lover looking for a city where you can see lots of happy pups going about their day, this guide is for you!

Read on as we’ve pulled together a list of seven of the best dog friendly cities in the world for dog lovers.

Tel Aviv, Israel

It is estimated that there are around 30,000 dogs currently living in the city of Tel Aviv, and the city has made it to the number one spot on our list for a very good reason. In August of every year, a huge festival called Kelaviv takes place, organized by the locals, dedicated to pampering your canine friends with massages, sushi, and other irritable treats!

Not only this, but an event is held at Gan Meir Park every Friday to encourage adoption and tempt passers-by to consider taking home their own furry friend.

The city also has a number of cafes where dogs are welcome, so don’t be surprised if you pop in for a latte and leave having made a new furry friend.

It is not difficult to import a dog to Israel, although a microchip, proof of rabies vaccination, rabies titer test and a health certificate are required. Good news is that there is no wait time after acceptable titer levels are received before your dog can travel.

Related Content: Pet import requirements for Israel

Toronto, Canada

From High Park in the west to the beaches in the east, Toronto has lots of off-leash play areas where dogs can explore and have fun together. But the Canadians have even taken it one step further, creating a massive dog-inspired fountain in the middle of Berczy Park to honor our furry friends.

Better still, there are plenty of nice places in the city for you to sit and do a bit of dog watching. For example, you could sit and enjoy a pint at Black Lab Brewery right opposite Berczy Park as you watch the neighborhood pooches go about their day.

Canada is super pet friendly. Pets entering Canada with their owners over 3 months of age will only need proof of current rabies vaccination. Check with your airline for the need of a current health certificate. It is always a good idea to travel with one, and your country may require it as a result of export procedures.

Related Content: Pet import requirements for Canada

California, United States

California, but more specifically, Huntington Beach in California, is a dog lovers dream. As well as your furry friends being able to play frisbee on the sand, they can also relax at Surf City Dog Spaw where a range of snacks, including Top Dog Barkery’s pup pastries, are on offer.

And as the home of the paw-some Surf City Surf Dog Competition, there is a good chance you’ll get to see a wave-loving pooch balanced on a surfboard – and who doesn’t want that!

And not far from the beach is Fred’s Mexican Cafe which hosts a regular Monday Doggie Date Night, as well as Sandy’s Beach Shack which serves meals for dogs, including delicious grilled meats.

Unless you are entering the United States from a country classified as high rabies, the export requirements for your country and your airline’s pet policies will apply.

Related Content: Pet import requirements for the United States

Sydney, Australia

The sheer amount of space across the nation makes Australia a great place for dogs anyway, but the city of Sydney is a particular highlight. This is because there is an abundance of open space for dogs to roam and play, and there are also plenty of dog friendly places to grab a drink and something to eat.

And have you ever heard of doga? That’s yoga + dogs… Yep, you read that right! Doga classes are available in the city, and if you don’t have a pooch of your own, that’s OK. You can always convince your friend that does to come down and take part with you (or just watch as others embrace their zen).

Then you can refuel post-workout with coffee at the Grumpy Baker or stop for brunch at the Laneway Cafe, where dogs are welcome, as they are in so many places across the city.

Although it is worth the effort, importing a pet to Australia is challenging and will take 6 months of preparation, so pet owners should plan ahead. The entry point to Australia for pets is Melbourne. After a short quarantine, you and your pet can head to Sydney.

Related Content: Pet Import Requirements for Australia

Kathmandu, Nepal

As part of the Diwali Festival celebrations (which is called Tihar in Nepal), the entire country comes together to honor dogs, and nowhere is this more prominent than in the nation’s capital of Kathmandu.

Throughout Diwali, dogs are given wreaths of flowers and a red mark on their heads to celebrate. And best of all, if you’re visiting the city at this time, you can watch pets and strays alike as they enjoy the delicious plates of food left out for them on doorsteps by lovely locals.

Nepal is not a difficult country to enter with a dog if it has proof of microchip, rabies vaccination and an endorsed health certificate. Know, however, that Nepal is classified as a country with a high risk of rabies, so pet owners should check the requirements to reimport their pet to their origination country if they intend to return after their visit.

Related Content: Pet Import Requirements for Nepal

Prague, Czech Republic

Although Prague is not traditionally thought of as a dog-friendly location, they have made lots of changes over the last few years and dogs are now welcome to explore most places. From the top tourist sites to local restaurants, dogs can explore the city just like their humans can. Some places are even kind enough to cook small meals, especially for your four-legged friend.

Not only this, but Prague’s Letna Park is a great place for off-leash walks where you can watch dogs play with one another, and you can enjoy a beer from the various beer gardens en route as you walk through the park.

What’s more, if you love the cinema, you’re in luck. For a truly unique experience, you can take your pooch along to see the latest blockbuster at the dog-friendly Aero cinema, where they even host a film festival each year. If you don’t have a dog, you can still join in and watch as other’s dogs get cozy and settle down, ready for the movie.

To import your dog to the Czech Republic, your dog will need proof of a microchip, rabies vaccination and an endorsed health certificate. If entering from a country classified as high-rabies, then your dog will need a rabies titer test 3 months prior to travel.

Related Content: Pet import requirements for the Czech Republic

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Last but not least on our list, we have Amsterdam. While the Netherlands as a whole has been praised as a dog-lover’s location, Amsterdam goes above and beyond. Throughout the city, dogs are allowed in most establishments apart from museums and galleries, which means you can pretty much get your doggy fix wherever you go, whether you have a dog with you or not.

Plus, dogs can ride most public transport for free, or you can buy a doggy day pass for the train for just €3! Which mean you can spend your days exploring the city with your dog and not have to compromise on where you both go or what you see.

Regulations to import a dog to the Netherlands are the same as they are for the Czech Republic. The good news is that pet owners can use their health certificate to visit all EU Member States for 4 months after entering the EU provided that their dog’s rabies vaccination does not expire during their trip.

Related Content: Pet import requirements for the Netherlands

No matter where you travel with your dog, be sure to visit your veterinarian for a health certificate and have your pet microchipped. There is no better way to protect your pet.

As the world opens up and travel restrictions for pet owners ease, it’s time to explore international destinations and don’t forget to bring your best friend along to some of the best dog friendly cities in the world.

Stuart Cooke is the Marketing Manager at They are luggage shipping specialists who help travellers and home movers take the stress out of their journeys.

Why You Should Not Change Your Dog’s Food When Traveling

What you feed your dog is important. A healthy and well-balanced diet is an essential part of good health which is especially important if you are planning on traveling.

dog eating food
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A change of environment and schedule can upset any dog. The goal is to keep the routine similar as much as possible prior to and during travel. If you change things too much, then your dog may become unsettled and perhaps even a bit nervous. As your dog is accustomed to the diet and the food that they receive every day, introducing sudden changes may cause effects more significant than you may expect. So, why shouldn’t you change your dog’s food while traveling?

Why do pet owners change their dog’s food?

Some typical symptoms that motivate pet owners to change their pet’s food are refusal to eat, nausea, unexplained itching, upgrading to a higher quality pet food or for convenience when traveling. Certainly, it is advisable to speak with your veterinarian before changing pet foods to confirm there are not underlying issues that could be causing these problems. Some pet owners just want to upgrade to a better quality of food for their pet or transition from wet to dry food for reasons of convenience.

There is a right time to change food, and there is a wrong time. The wrong time is before you are planning to travel or perhaps doing something else that necessitate changing your pet’s schedule.  Why is that?

Your dog may already be confused with watching you pack and get organized for a trip, and, if you then proceed to change their diet too, you could end up with a distressed and distracted dog. Before making changes, you have to ask yourself “is this the right time to change my dog’s food?” Your answer will establish when to change foods and why. Taking time to change your dog’s diet and not doing it just prior to traveling will help avoid digestive issues and tummy upsets.

Related: Changing Your Pet Food: Why and How?

Digestive Issues

Another reason why you should not change your dog’s food when traveling is, if changed suddenly, you can trigger problems such as a twisted tummy or other digestive issues such as small intestinal malabsorption, colitis, or even acute gastroenteritis. When you change your dog’s diet, this can affect their health more than you realize, and this can have a domino effect on other areas of your dog’s body. It can affect their stools, cause vomiting and weight loss.

When you are integrating a new food into your dog’s diet, or you are changing food completely, you need to make sure that you do so slowly by mixing small amounts of the new food with their current food, increasing the ratio over time. It is a good idea to have access to a veterinarian, just in case of an emergency. These digestive issues can cause a great deal of stress for your dog and leave them in a lot of pain if the more serious issues occur.

Nutrition Matters

Your dog needs to maintain the level of nutrition that it gets daily. If you start altering what food you are giving them (especially if you have not researched options beforehand), then you could end up giving it food that is nutritionally bad for them. Foodstuffs that may be lacking in quality nutrients will have an effect on your dog’s mood and behavior, and this is simply not something that you want to deal with while you are traveling. Getting the nutrition for your dog’s diet correctly blended and managed is an art that you need to perfect when you are at home and not when you are traveling somewhere new.

What Your Dog Needs

It is important that your dog still has access to all of they need  when traveling. Changing up their food may mean they might not get what they need to support their good health.

Nutrients and Vitamins

When it comes to making sure that your dog gets the vitamins, nutrients, and minerals that they need at all mealtimes, you need to first establish what they need. Things to consider are how much they weigh, what their nutritional requirements are based on their weight, the amount of exercise they get, and, of course, their age. Vitamins A, D, E, and K, as well as calcium and phosphorus are essential for a balanced diet. If your dog does not get these important vitamins and calcium in its food, then it can affect their immune system.

As well as vitamins, calcium, and phosphorus, your dog also needs to get a certain amount of fat, proteins, and carbohydrates. Proteins help build muscle and assist in preventing excessive weight gain which can oftentimes be a result of feeding your pet too many carbohydrates.

The best rule of thumb is to calculate 1 gram of protein per pound of ideal body weight. So, if your dog should weigh 40 pounds, it should be eating 40 grams of protein daily.  Ideal body weight is the recommended weight for your dog, not its actual weight. If your dog is overweight, then you should not use its actual weight in this calculation. You can ask your veterinarian what the ideal weight of your dog should be.

Access to fresh and clean water

If your dog does not have access to fresh and clean water when you are traveling and at mealtimes, then it can affect its digestive system, as well as its overall health and wellbeing. A dog’s body can consist of as much as 60% of water, and if fresh, clean water is missing from its diet, it may struggle from lethargy, and it may also suffer from other digestive issues in the near future, such as vomiting and diarrhea.

The additional stress resulting from traveling can result in excess panting leading to dehydration. This is the major cause of airline incidents, especially with snub-nosed breeds like Bulldogs, Shih Tzus, Chows, Persian and exotic cats and the like. If your pet is flying, get the largest water bowl that will attach to the door without interfering with your pet’s movement.

Weigh your dog’s food

When you introduce any new food to your dog, it is essential that it is weighed properly. It is very easy to underfeed or overfeed your dog, especially when using new food. To avoid uncertainty, it is important that you weigh food before you give it to your dog. If you are not giving your dog enough of a new food, it may not be getting the nutrients and vitamins it needs when traveling. It is also important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, and this cannot easily be done when you are traveling. For example, it is advised to integrate the food over a period of time and increasing the amount a little at each mealtime, as opposed to a straight swap.

Bring your dog’s food with you when you travel

If you are traveling by car, then bring enough of the food that your pet is accustomed to eating with you to last the duration of your trip.

If you are flying domestically, then pack an unopened bag or can of food in a box and check it at the airport. If you are flying internationally, then it is essential to research country regulations as to the import of food. For example, pets traveling to Mexico can only import enough food for their pet’s need for one day. Canada also requires that the food be of US origin, that your pet enters Canada with the food, and that the purpose of the food is solely to feed your pet.

Take your time

When you are thinking about making a switch to your dog’s diet, or you are even considering changing your dog’s food, you need to make sure that you give yourself plenty of time. Time is crucial to preparing your dog’s food to ensure that it is high in nutrients and rich in protein, especially if you are switching to a dry food diet.

These are a few reasons why you should not change your dog’s food when traveling. Changes to diets need to happen over a period of a few days or weeks and not hours. This is not something that you should arrange when you are traveling. If changes are made too quickly, then your dog may struggle to digest the new food, and it may end up getting sick as a result. Slow integration when changing diet is always recommended.

Maggie Hammond is the proud mama to two little people, and has one too many furry friends. She is passionate about alternative medicine, education, the great outdoors and animal welfare.

Biking with Your Dog – Ready for some Outdoor Fun?

dog on bike in basket
Photo Credit: Trixpaule –

Biking is becoming ever more popular, with people flocking to use bicycles for their preferred method of both exercise and relaxation. Union Cycliste International reported that 2020 was the biggest year for bicycling in the USA since 1973; and 2021 is poised to surpass that record. This is no surprise since cycling has a low impact on the environment, is a good way to get around quickly, and also opens up opportunities to experience the world around you. And why not enjoy biking with your dog?  Indeed, there are few better ways to get around with your four-legged friend than on a bicycle.

Related: How to Travel Better with a Dog

Safety first when biking with your dog

As fun as it is to bike with your dog, choosing the right option that works for both you and your pet is important. For smaller dogs, a front or rear facing carrier or bike trailer are safe and simple ways to  transport your under 20 pounder, especially if you live in a busy city. However, you will need to make sure that the carrier you choose can secure your dog with a restraint and is able to withstand the weight of your dog. You should also consider investing in a pair of Doogles or other types of sunglasses to protect their eyes from dust and dirt.

If you have a larger dog that enjoys exercise such as a Husky, Labrador, Golden Retriever, Spaniel, Weimaraner or a hyper cross breed (gotta love ‘em), biking with your dog is a great way to burn off that boundless energy. But there are things to consider before you hit the road.

Should my dog be leashed? Unless you are in an environment where your dog will not be distracted from your path, it is a good idea to leash your dog to the bike. There are many devices that allow for this safely. This bike leash is just one example.

How long can my dog keep a faster pace? Before biking with your dog, you should understand their limits as to exercise. Consider the need for training your dog to run next to a bicycle. First trips should be short and slow so your pup can understand the arrangement. Work your way to a pace that is comfortable for them. Watch them carefully for signs of fatigue, dehydration and distraction. Don’t encourage your pooch to sprint for too long even if they are enjoying the pace, especially if they are a snub-nosed breed. Don’t forget to offer them water after a good biking session.

biking with a dog running alongside

Courtesy of Pixabay

Related: How to Keep Your Pet Hydrated when Traveling

Start biking with your dog on easy park trails

Before you head out on vacation, it’s a good idea to consider what’s on your doorstep. Many bike trails are also dog-friendly, and that extends to local parks and areas of natural beauty. The US Department of Interior has a very handy roundup of such areas, listed state by state. In particular, they recommend the Ridge to Rivers System in Idaho and the various National Wildlife Refuges set across the USA’s urban conurbations. Just make sure you know the local rules. There are times when you’ll want to let your pet off the leash, and there are several parks where this won’t be allowed. Also, and again, you’ll need to ensure you cycle at a dog-safe pace.

Urban biking

Off the parks and onto the roads is where many cyclists will opt to choose before their next big trip. For owners of smaller to medium sized dogs, who can be placed in a carrier on the bike as opposed to needing to be taken on lead, this is a real option and one that can help you to experience a bit of city history. Many cities have good policies on dogs when it comes to museums, and there are plenty of art installations outside, too, where you can easily dismount and go for a walk around. Cycling with your dog is not prohibited, either, but it’s important to be extra careful on city streets and among traffic.

Longer dog-friendly bike trails

Past your own front door, biking gives you the freedom to go pretty much anywhere you like, often to awe-inspiring places and backdrops, and doing so with man’s best friend in tow only enhances the adventure. The United States, with its many varied climates and sights, offers a few key trails to try out. For urban dog owners, The American River Parkway, California offers a quick way to get out. According to, the trail has a dozen access points and an abundance of trees and wildflowers, making it a great area for your dog to explore.

Furthermore, it features areas in which you can fish, swim, kayak, or run, as well as paint, relax, or watch a sunset. For sure, your rest stops will never be boring.

Other parks offering pet friendly bike trails are

Arcadia National Park in Arcadia, ME

Katy Trail, Clinton, MO

Banks-Vernonia Trail, Portland, OR

Flume Trail, Lake Tahoe, NV

Tahoe Rim Trail, Lake Tahoe, NV

Maah Daah Hey Trail, Waterford, ND

Pisgah National Forest and Nantahala National Forest, Asheville, NC

Withlacoochee Bay Trail, Crystal River, FL

Gatlinburg Trailhead, Gatlinburg, TN

WCU Hiking & Mountain Biking Trailhead, Cullowhee, NC

Losing yourself in the wilderness

If you and your furry pal are after something more on the wild side you can bike the George S. Mickelson Trail, South Dakota, where ghosts of Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane still roam according to You can explore the prairies, pine and ponderosa forests, all of which will provide a wealth of sensory adventures for your pet. Afterwards, you can stop off for a picnic while your dog enjoys a refreshing doggy paddle in the cool lake. 

Other examples of wilderness biking trails that allow pets are Cowboy Trail, Norfolk, NE and The Great Allegheny Passage Trail from Pennsylvania to Maryland.

An honest to goodness road trip

Why not combine all these adventures together into a long road trip? The Active Times highlights one such trip which is 8,000 miles cross the USA trail cycled, over months, by one owner and their pet. Road trips are famous for their ability to help draw the travel experience out into a really long and enjoyable stretch – an opportunity to learn about yourself and, with your pet there, your best friend too. With the open view towards cycling and pets seen in the urban areas, parks, trails and wilderness of the country, you’re sure to have a good time.

Don’t be surprised if cycling becomes one of your favorite pastimes. Of course, you want your best friend there alongside you wherever you may roam. Biking with your dog is a great way to do this. Make sure that they are safe along the way and enjoy the time you share outdoors wherever you are. You and your pooch have fun while riding hand in paw.

Jane Sandwood is a freelance writer and editor who spent over a decade in the tourism industry.

Pet Travel: Why Temperatures Matter

Dog in cold temperatures
Photo by Naomi Salome:

So, it’s time to travel with your pet. Whether your trip is planned or unexpected, why should you understand that temperatures matter? Simply put, extreme weather outside your door, at any place you stop along the way or at your destination, can put your pet at great risk when traveling, especially when flying.

How does a cat or dog regulate its body temperature in periods of high temperature? Our fur babies do not sweat through their skin as we do. Their coat helps protect them, keep them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. They can perspire through their ear canals and the pads of their feet, but they regulate their body temperature primarily through their respiratory system (panting). Excessive panting promotes dehydration, and that is why having water available to them when traveling is important.

How about low temperatures? If dogs and cats are exposed to low temperatures for long periods of time, body temperatures can drop and hypothermia can develop. As time passes, their body’s ability to bring itself back to normal temperatures diminishes. Depression of the circulatory, central nervous, respiratory and the immune systems commonly develop. It all leads to difficulty breathing, which is never good for any of our four-legged friends.

Every animal is different in how they handle changes in temperature. The size, age, breed, type of coat and health all play a part in protecting your cat or dog from variations in body temperature. Snub-nosed breeds are particularly at risk due to their inability to breathe efficiently.

Obviously, dogs and cats that have thick undercoats like Huskies, Samoyeds, Malamutes, Persians, and Maine Coon Cats, for example, are better protected in periods of cold weather while Chihuahuas, Sphynx cats and other small, short-haired breeds are more susceptible to cold temperatures. Makes sense, right? Does it work the other way around? Not necessarily. It depends on your pet’s normal environment and what temperatures they are accustomed to.

If your dog or cat is traveling from a warm climate to a cold climate, it is important to offer protection to them until they can become accustomed to lower temperatures. One way to help is with a self warming pad. This nifty pad can be used in a crate, carrier, cage or a car and will hold your pet’s natural body heat to be reabsorbed back into its body helping to keep it warm. Don’t forget sweaters for short-haired dogs and cats in low temperatures.

Dog in car
Photo by Maria Orlova:

Let’s first consider ground travel as it is a less stressful way to travel with a pet. Obviously, if you are traveling in a car, conditions will be stable for your dog or cat because you will have control over temperatures in your car; that is, as long as you are in it. If you leave your pets in your car unaccompanied, know that temperatures can rise or fall very quickly in summer and winter, even if you leave the window open a bit. Takes only a few minutes to become risky for them, especially in periods of higher temperatures.

Remember, too, that our friends need pit stops when traveling and protecting their pads is important in both summer when asphalt is hot and winter when sidewalks are icy and snow is on the ground. Dry their pads well, removing any snow or ice that is caught in their pads. (Cats will especially love this.)

If your dog or cat is flying in an airline cargo hold, temperatures matter.

When flying in the hold, the time when your dog or cat is most at risk is not after take off at 30,000 feet but on the ground during periods of holding, loading and taxiing. Most cargo areas are not heated or air conditioned efficiently and it can get mighty cold or hot waiting for hours before loading. (United Airlines offers climate-controlled holding areas.) Live animals are generally the last thing loaded, so they wait on the baggage carrier or the tarmac until it is their turn. Also, if the airport is busy and there is a wait to take off, tarmac temperatures can affect the cargo hold until the aircraft’s heating or cooling systems kick in. (like conditions in the cabin)

If you are flying your dog or cat in the cargo hold, your airline will not accept live animals when temperatures on the tarmac fall below 45°F (7°C) or higher than 85°F (29°C) anywhere on your route (origination, layover or destination). Some airlines may accept an acclimate certificate issued by your veterinarian if your pet lives in a cold climate and is a breed that is accustomed to lower temperatures. No such certificate is available for higher temperatures and rightly so. Like a hot car, periods of high temperatures are extremely risky, even to healthy pets.

OK, so what can we do, as responsible pet owners, to avoid extreme temperatures?

Travel in Spring or Fall

The best time for pets to travel is the Spring or Fall when temperatures are not extremely hot or cold, no matter how you choose to transport your pet. Temperatures matter when it comes to your pet’s safety and comfort.

Travel During Non-Holiday Periods

Book your flight on a Tuesday or Wednesday when demands on the cargo hold are not as excessive. If driving, traffic will be lighter on these days. If you are traveling for Thanksgiving or Christmas, go several days early before the rush and return during the week after the holiday.

Drive or Fly Directly

Unless you are traveling in an RV, get to your destination as soon as you can so you can introduce your pet to a stable environment. If flying, opt for a direct flight. It may be more expensive than a layover, but far less stressful for your pet. Never change airline companies along the way if at all possible.

Get Your Pet Acclimated to Travel

Lots of short trips in the car will help your dog or cat get used to leaving its environment and travel will become a bit less stressful. Get your pet a good restraint, whether a pet carrier or a booster seat. If flying, get a good pet crate and get your pet used to it as early as possible.

Life Happens – What to do?

Because, we do not always get the opportunity to plan our travels. Life brings sudden changes and all of us want our pets with us when it is time to go. If temperatures are high, then consider driving to an airport where temperatures are cooler if possible. Talk to your airline about holding and loading procedures.

If your destination is too hot or cold when you need to travel, you may need to leave your pet with friends or family until such time that it is safe for them to travel. Yes, it’s inconvenient, but safety is first and to lose a pet is surely a tragedy. Better to fly your best friend alone or go get them later when temperatures are more tolerable. Remember that temperatures matter!

Find more information on traveling with your pet.

How to Travel with Your Fish

How to Travel with a Fish
Courtesy of Kyaw Tun –

Many animal lovers who can’t bother with energetic dogs or unpredictable cats opt for fish as pets. They require very little in terms of maintenance; you don’t need to walk them, and they won’t run around your home, potentially destroying your favorite vase, TV, or that unique gift your grandma gave you when you were younger. That said, we all like or need to travel at some point of time and we want to bring our pets with us. So, how do you travel with your fish?

Although you may think that transporting fish is just as easy as other pets; but, it’s actually much more difficult than cradling a kitten or bringing a puppy in a pet carrier.

Given that even a single fish requires daily feeding and regular monitoring in terms of water temperature, quality and pollution, if you can’t provide for that level of care while you are gone, you’ll probably want to bring your pet fish along when you’re traveling and certainly when you’re moving. Here is what you need to know to do it properly and safely.

What to do before your travel with your fish

Keep the tank’s water as clean as possible prior to transporting your fish

Any drastic change in the ambient quality of water can have devastating effects on your pet fish. Some fish can live in tanks that are pristinely clear while others actually welcome a bacterium or two. While you will be able to adjust, clean, and re-water the tank while it is stationary, you won’t get that opportunity as often while you’re traveling.

Fish in tank

Your pet fish will need to get accustomed to the change in water’s temperature and cleanliness, and the smaller this change is, the better its odds of survival will be.

The best way to ensure that your fish will be in a healthy environment while you’re on the move is to keep your fish tank as clean as possible before filling the plastic bag with its water.

Do not feed your fish for a few days before you travel

Most fish types can survive approximately seven days without any food, so you should also time its last meal before the trip. 

All fish types have different digestive systems, but most of them can digest food within a day. After that, your pet will contaminate its water. This is usually not a problem at all as most aquariums feature filtering systems, and even those that do not can be re-watered in a matter of minutes.

However, the bigger problem in this situation is the fact that most people don’t transport their fish in aquariums; plastic bags are far more practical. Plastic bags, however, contain a smaller quantity of water, which means that the effects of pollution through feces are far more impactful and dangerous.

Bringing an actual aquarium can be a viable solution if it’s decently small. Medium-sized and larger containers are not only impractical, but they’ll create bigger waves with each hard turn, which will stress your fish significantly.

Don’t place anything in your fish’s container

Generally speaking, the only thing that needs to be in the fish’s container (whether it’s an aquarium or a plastic bag) is your pet fish. Their bodies are fragile, and any item regardless of its weight can and will move with every turn, which can harm your pet.

Also, any outside object may end up polluting the water or even change its temperature. Any kind of temperature fluctuation can make your fish sick.

What to do when driving with your fish

Timing is crucial

The first thing you’ll need to think about is how long you’ll be on the move. Most fish will be able to survive approximately 48 hours outside of their fish tank. Traveling beyond this time limit will invariably increase the many factors that impact your pet’s survivability.

Making stops and resting between locations on longer trips will certainly benefit the driver and the passengers, and it’s absolutely necessary for fish. Even though they demand much less than most other types of pets, the restrictions in terms of feeding and water changing can be stressful for them, not to mention the shaking with each bump in the road.

Bring extra water

Fill clean and new plastic bags with water from your fish’s tank before traveling with your fish. Should your fish contaminate their water, you should have ample spare clean water they are accustomed to available to them.

Two fish in a tank
Courtesy of

Watch closely for signs of unease

You’ll need to monitor your pet frequently and check for signs of distress, and make a stop if you notice anything strange in its behavior. Here are some things to look for.

Gasping near water’s surface

The most typical sign that your fish is not feeling well during the trip is gasping near the water’s surface. It could be that the water had become polluted, or the environment is unsuitable (the temperature is either too high or low), or the beneficial chemicals in the water have evaporated.

Given that fish can only absorb a small amount of oxygen through the air, they may die fairly quickly if you don’t react.

Poor appetite

The second most common sign is poor appetite, but that’s not something you’ll be able to notice since you shouldn’t feed your pet during the trip. If a fish is fed while on the move, it will inevitably soil the water and therefore contaminate it. Even so, if your pet refuses to eat once you’ve stopped, you may want to call a vet just to be sure.

Odd swimming patterns

Every fish has a different kind of swimming pattern. Some may be more energetic, some may be lethargic, and it’s important to note before traveling with your fish what is the default swimming pattern for your pet specifically. Obvious deviations from this pattern are usually a sign of distress.


Finally, try to inspect your pet fish’s color to the best of your ability. Healthy fish are always of the same color while those who are struggling with any kind of stress or disease tend to be bleaker. The color of any fish is dictated by its endocrine system, which will secrete corticosterone whenever it’s enduring huge amounts of stress.

What to do when flying with a fish

If you are moving a long distance or overseas, you may need to fly your fish in order to reduce its travel time. Due to security regulations, commercial airlines will not allow fish to fly in the cabin with their owners. Airline pet policies dictate that fish must fly in the cargo hold in secure containers that will ensure their safety. All containers must be able to withstand handling and flight conditions.

Fish Traveling in Plastic Bags
Courtesy of

Smaller fish such as goldfish or tropical fish can travel in leakproof plastic bags filled with a minimum of one quarter water and three quarters oxygen. Your fish should be able to swim freely in the bag.

After filling with oxygen, the bag should be twisted, looped and secured. To protect against temperature fluctuations, the bag can be wrapped in a polyethylene sheet or two.

The bag should be placed in a rigid outer container made from material that will protect your fish during handling and loading. The container can be made from strong fiberboard or wood according to the regulations of your airline. No nails, screws of any hardware that could puncture the bag are allowed. Larger species or aggressive fish (betas, etc.) will require dividers.

The container must clearly labelled with Live Animal Stickers. Before sealing the container, the attendant at the cargo facility will need to inspect your fish’s container. Contact your airline’s cargo department to make reservations, discuss check in procedures, and any questions you may have regarding your fish’s safe transport.

What to do when you reach your destination

Put your fish back into its aquarium/tank

When you reach your destination, you should put your fish back into its aquarium as soon as possible. If you didn’t bring the exact aquarium your pet is living in with you, do everything you can to recreate the living conditions it has to offer.

Use the cleanest water you can provide; if tap water is out of the question, bottled water without any additives might be your best solution. Once your fish is in the bigger container, you can feed it again.

Monitor your fish for several weeks for any signs of illness

Any infections or results of stress can surface days after you return your pet to its tank. A new source of water may also cause an imbalance that could affect sensitive fish. Additional attention is good for both you and your fish once placed in a new environment.

It is also a good idea to research a veterinarian in your destination in case complications arise once you arrive.

We hope that this rundown was useful to you and that you have learned something new today on how to travel with your fish. A few simple steps can result in a safer and happier trip for both of you.

Kimberly Fowles:

A poet, a writer, and a full-time nurse. When she’s at home, she spends her time with her fishy and four-legged friends. She grew up in Alberta with her parents and then moved to Ontario to take care of her only aunt. Kimberly dreams of moving to Australia and wants to spend at least a few years there.

Adopting a Dog – What You Need to Know

Dog waiting to be adopted
Courtesy of Helena Lopez –

Whether you are young, middle aged or retired, adopting a dog is an exciting prospect. Your new furry friend essentially will become a member of the family and a loyal companion who can’t wait to greet you when you walk through the door. However, the sad truth is that many dogs are abandoned because their owners are simply unaware of the amount of time and care needed for their long-term health and happiness.

Before adopting a dog, you need to evaluate whether you can commit to giving the care and attention that your dog will need for its lifetime. If you have never owned a dog before, it can be difficult to know what is expected of you as an owner. In this guide, we have put together useful information for what you need to know when adopting a dog.

1. Ask questions

The more you know about your dog?s past, the better you can be prepared to care for it. Before bringing your new friend home, ask your shelter about whether your dog has any medical issues, how long it has been in the shelter and what they know about your dog’s history. How they have been caring for your pooch is also important (feeding and walking specifically) and whether your dog gets along with other dogs.

2. Define who does what

Dogs need to be fed, walked, bathed, brushed and loved. It is important to define who in your household will be responsible for what duties when it comes to your new family member. Assigning different duties is a good way to teach your children responsibility and structure. Rules must be in place in advance for walking and feeding and consistency is the key.

3. Get ready

When bringing a dog into your home, you need to make sure that their surroundings are safe with minimal hazards. Dogs love to explore their environment, so it would be advised to create a dedicated dog zone where they are free to play and sleep. If there are any areas in the home that are off-limits to your pooch, it would be wise to install baby gates as a precaution. Some of the most important aspects to take into consideration include:

  • Keeping electrical wires out of reach
  • Removing any cleaners or chemicals that may be stored within reach (inside and outside)
  • Storing away shoes, socks, and other chewable items
  • Picking up any small items that may be tempting to eat
  • Keep a lid on trash cans to prevent curious puppies from foraging for leftovers

4. Go shopping

Collars, leashes, bedding, food and water bowls, dog shampoo, treats, food, brushes, nail clippers, cleaners for accidents and of course, toys to play with are some of the basic items you will need for an adopted dog. You may want to go shopping with your new friend and let them pick out toys they lilke as well.

5. Find a good veterinarian

You might not be thinking of your dog getting ill as soon as you choose to adopt, but dependent on the age of your pooch, they may need to have essential injections for common illnesses. It is an excellent idea to take your adopted dog to the veterinarian to establish a baseline record for it and check for any health related issues.

Any dog owner needs to choose a vet that they have full trust in when it comes to diagnosing conditions; therefore, it would be wise to see how the vet interacts with your pooch and if they can answer your queries confidently. Your vet should be able to provide information on the widespread illnesses your dog is at risk of and the appropriate vaccinations that should be administered.

If your shelter has not already microchipped your dog, you should consider getting your dog a microchip. Either way, be sure and register your pet with the chip manufacturer and add your contact details. If they get lost, stolen or run away, the first thing that animal control officers will do is to scan for a microchip and contact you through the chip database. A microchip will also prove ownership and can’t get removed or lost like an ID tag can.

6. Introductions

Take time for introductions. Your dog will need to process everyone in your home and decide where they fit in. Take time for as many strokes and hugs as your dog will allow, and don’t be upset if they don’t warm up immediately. Some relationships must be nurtured, and this takes time. Generally, a dog will bond to a trusted person first, then extend relationships with others when they feel comfortable.

Dog shaking hands
Courtesy of Enzo Munoz –

7. Get to know eachother

Dogs learn a lot from experiences they have had and, in the case of an adopted dog, not all past experiences are happy. It is crucial that your family (or you) build up a cache of new and happy experiences from the very beginning. This is best done around your home so your dog will learn to bond with its new environment.

8. Stick around and set the rules

After bringing your adopted dog home, you will need to keep a close eye on your pup. Your home is a new place and they have no idea what the rules are. Be patient, firm and loving when teaching them what they can and cannot do. Reward them with treats when they display good behavior and be mild but consistent with discipline in the beginning.

Don’t plan an extended vacation, going back to work, or any type of excessive stimulation right away. This can add to the confusion that an adopted dog already feels when they come to a new home. Keeping activity low-keyed will help your pet relaxed and allow them to learn more about their new environment.

9. Commit to a high-quality diet

The number of different types of dog food on the market can be quite overwhelming as a newbie dog owner, and you may not know which one to choose for your pooch. There is a vast array of sizes, flavors, and textures that are suitable for various dog types, so if in any doubt, it would be advised to do some research on which type of food your breed should be eating or ask your vet for recommendations.

As an absolute minimum, the food should list real meat in list of ingredients, not meat-flavored or grain, as this indicates that the food contains protein which is essential for dogs. A poor diet can lead to a whole host of health issues, including sickness and diarrhea. Unless you are ready to dedicate your trips to the grocer and time spent in the kitchen fixing home cooked meals for your pet, you should aim to limit human food from their diet, as this can cause an imbalance in nutrients and vitamins which keeps your dog in good health.

Ask your veterinarian how much you should be feeding your dog. It is much easier to keep your dog trip and fit than dealing with health issues related to an overweight dog.

10. Keep them clean and tidy

While grooming may be considered a novelty for your pooch, it is, in fact, an essential aspect of maintaining your dog’s health and wellbeing. During the summer months, in particular, fleas and ticks can be an issue, as well as perspiration which can cause skin irritation and further scratching. Professional grooming can be a huge monthly expense; however, there are DIY dog wash options in which you can bathe your dog yourself. Before bathing, ensure that all knots and matting are cut and brushed out.

Not only will your dog feel better, it is a perfect time to bond with eachother.

11. Consider insuring your pet

You cannot predict when your dog may become ill or injured, so it would be highly advised to take out pet insurance as a form of financial protection if the worst-case scenario were to occur. Vets bills can be extremely steep, but a monthly premium policy should help cover costs up to a specific limit. Always ensure you research the very best premiums available in accordance with your budget to see what coverage they will provide.

Exercise your adopted dog
Courtesy Blue Bird from Pexels

12. Get lots of exercise

Some dogs need more exercise than others; however, all dogs should be getting some form of exercise every day. A small dog may be suited to playing fetch or short walks, while a large dog such as a Rottweiler or Golden Retriever may need a minimum 30-minute walk per day. Plenty of exercise burns off exercise energy as well as keeps their muscles and joints supple. The amount of exercise each dog needs may help you decide which type of dog would be best suited to your lifestyle.

13. Make lots of friends

Socializing your dog is a major factor in helping them become more well-balanced and well-behaved as they grow older. From as young as weeks old, your adopted dog should be exposed to a range of sights, smells, sounds, and as many different people as possible to refrain from building up fears later in life. If you have rescued your dog, try not to overwhelm them with too much too soon, as this can have the opposite effect and lead them to develop irrational fears. Nervous dogs need a gradual introduction to new experiences, which should help them feel more comfortable in their new surroundings. Acknowledge good behavior, so they become accustomed to being rewarded if a certain action is repeated.

14. Treat your dog with respect

It can be frustrating when your dog isn’t obeying your commands, but you should never use physical force to encourage them to perform. For example, in the early puppy stages, it’s extremely normal for them to urinate around the house and chew on objects as they haven’t been taught otherwise. Likewise, adult dogs may misbehave as a result of human action; therefore, you should always acknowledge how your own behavior may have led to bad behavior.

Giving a shelter dog a new home is certainly a worthwhile and gratifying experience. That said, it is not always easy. An adopted dog cannot tell you about its past, so you need to understand if it takes time to adjust to its new life. If you?re considering adopting a dog in the near future, we hope this guide has provided some useful care basics about what you need to know when adopting a dog.

Maggie Hammond is a proud mama to two little people and has one too many furry friends. Passionate about alternative medicine, education, the great outdoors and animal welfare.

13 Things to Pack when Traveling with Your Cat

Do you like traveling? Do you have a cat? Traveling with your kitty makes those days away from home more adventurous and fun! Whether you want to enjoy the outdoors or visit friends, don’t let your furry baby miss out on all the fun. 

But there are lots of mistakes that you can make when traveling with your cat. Your fun adventure could end up frustrating if you forget to pack some of the necessities. We are here to help. Here’s a list of 13 things not to forget to pack before you leave.

Traveling with a Cat
Photo by Chewy on Unsplash

1.  Litter box

Of course, you’ll need a litter box. When she’s gotta go, she’s gotta go! You could opt to carry her litter box, but that could be bulky. Alternatively, try a portable litter box or a disposable one or two. They are lighter, easy to carry, and easy to clean. A portable litter box is also purrfect for long drives. Don’t forget to bring some of your kitty’s favorite litter along as well. Familiar items always make travel easier.

2. Other Toiletries

The litter box is only but one essential toiletry for your kitty. Here’s are other toiletries to include in the list:

  • Litter scoop
  • Plastic grocery bags. They make excellent travel poopy bags. Plus, it’s a great way to recycle!
  • Big trash bags. Carry a few; you will need somewhere to put the disposable litter box. 
  • A small hand broom and dustpan. 

3. Food

Although your kitty’s surroundings will change, your kitty’s food should not. Changing a diet can cause digestional upset which is unpleasant for both of you. Treats can help a kitty who hesitates to eat during travel, as many of them do. They also can be a reward for good behavior. Remember, you are going on a fun-filled adventure together. Rewards are inevitable.

Make sure you carry her favorite canned food and plastic can top. She won’t finish the whole can in one meal, and you’d want to keep the rest safely in the fridge for later. Feeding in portioins also means that you should remember to carry the following items:

4. Water Bowl/Bottle

Since cats don’t drink that often, it is easy to forget about the water bowl/bottle. But it’s crucial. After all, how will kitty rehydrate during the trip? 

Make sure you pack a collapsible water bowl and bring plenty of bottled water.

5. Mats or a Foldable Cardboard 

We may want to say that kitty is purrfect. She doesn’t make a mess on the floor when eating or drinking. But we all know that’s far from true. Spare your host or the hotel staff the frustration. Carry a mat or foldable cardboard to place under the food and water bowls during feeding times. 

6. Harness and Leash

Cats like to explore new environments. They are natural hunters and, unless restrained, they can stray and get lost. There is nothing that can ruin your adventure more than losing your precious pet. Don’t overlook the harness and retractable leash when packing, especially if your cat doesn’t like to be held. It could be the best item you included in the travel list when traveling with your cat. (see more on protecting your cat from loss below)

Cat on a leash
Photo by Zo Gayah Jonker on Unsplash

7. Safety During Travel

Are you planning to travel by plane? Check with the airline for airline compliant cat carriers. An airline cargo hold is a scary place for a cat. Some airlines are pet friendly allow you to fly with your cat in the cabin in a carrier that fits under the seat in front of you. Of course, your cat must be in a high-quality carrier. But it’s much better than flying in the cargo hold. 

Related: Steps to acclimate your cat to a cat carrier

Remember to check with the airline on their pet policy before making plans.

A high-quality carrier can also come in handy for long road trips. But pet safety during auto travel is a lot more complicated. For your cat’s safety (and your safety as well) your cat should be restrained when traveling in a car. A sudden stop at slow speeds can send your kitty flying. Better to ride in a crate, carrier or harness.

Remember to pack a pet sling or backpack with ventilation for your pit stops. Never leave a pet alone in a parked car. Even with the windows cracked, temperatures can climb quickly and put your pet in harm’s way.

8. Napping 

High-quality carriers also often double up as cat beds. If you can, carry something your cat is familiar with such as a cat cave, a comfy bed, or a pillow for her comfort while at the destination. Also, carry one of her blankets. It will have a familiar scent and help your cat get comfortable with their new surroundings. 

9. Grooming Supplies

Cats get stressed when they travel and shed more when they are tense. Besides, all the travel and eating while on the go could cause her to look like a mess. Kitty may need a little help with grooming. So carry along a brush, cat shampoo, and a lint roller. If you want to learn more about grooming your cat as well as cat habits, diseases and taking better care of your cat, you could also consider taking a cat grooming course.

10. Your Cat’s Favorite Toys

Put one or two of your cat’s favorite toys on the packing list. They will help to keep the little kitty entertained while away from home. If you plan on a road trip, take time to stop and play with your cat. They need to get those muscles moving to counter the fatigue involved with limited movement.

11. Medication, Medical Records, and Veterinary Contacts

Does your kitty take medication? If yes, be sure to pack enough supplies and take a photo of the prescription and store it in the cloud or on your cellphone for easy reference. Make a list of veterinarians and veterinary hospitals in along your route or in your destination area. Note their addresses, operating hours, and telephone contacts. It will save you a ton of trouble and frustration if there’s an emergency and your kitty has to see a veterinarian.

12. Pack a Pet First Aid Kit when Traveling with a Cat

When we talk about emergencies, a first aid kit must be nearby. Be prepared to handle emergencies before you get to the vet. You could opt to buy one or fix one up from supplies you already have at home. Just make sure it has the following items:

  • Gauze
  • Non-stick Bandages
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Rectal thermometer
  • Blunt end scissors
  • Petroleum jelly
  • A syringe
  • Eyewash

13. Identification and Paperwork 

Lastly, don’t even think about leaving home without your cat’s identification and paperwork. Ensure that you fit the cat with a collar with an ID tag and a vaccine tag. Better than an ID tag, get your cat a microchip. A microchip is a great way to uniquely identify your cat and can help to reunite you if it gets lost. When you register your information in the manufacturer’s database, animal control agencies will be able to contact you if your kitty is lost. Before you leave, check the details registered with the chip company, and ensure they include a cell phone number you’ll have access to on the journey!

If you are crossing state lines, carry a copy of your cat’s health certificate and rabies certificates.

Traveling with a cat can be fun. Ensure that you include the above items in your packing list. That way, both you and the kitty will enjoy the time away from home. In case you have to leave her home on short notice, learn what to do to make her feel comfortable.

Emila is a freelance journalist and blogger with a love for those with four legs! She has grown up around animals and pets and wants to use her knowledge on pet behavior, training, and lifestyle tips to help other pet parents live the best possible life with their furry friends.