April 18, 2009

An Airline Just for Pets

We've been reading about a new airline company called Pet Airways, and they seem to have an interesting concept going. They have designed the cabin areas of their planes exclusively for pets, with the seats having been removed to make room for pet carriers, so no human passengers are allowed. These areas are reported to be climate controlled, pressurized, and fully lit, just as with normal airlines, and a pet attendant is present at all times to see to your pet's needs.

Weekly flights are scheduled to begin in July, and will go between New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Denver, and Los Angeles, though they claim that other cities will be added as the year progresses. Pet owners will be able to track their pet's travel progress online with their Pet Tracker service.

As a dog owner, I find this to be a great idea. It doesn't take much research to learn how bad it is to have your dog packed into the cargo bay of an airplane, which is what most airlines do with them, and I've never found the concept of stuffing my canine babies in a carrier under a seat for hours on end to be very appealing either (which is the only other option for air travel, IF your pet is very small). However, I'm just waiting to see how things pan out with Pet Airways.

Their site is currently offline, which they claim is due to an overwhelming response to their service, and they have given an eMail address where you can make reservations instead. On one hand, this is understandable, because maybe they just underestimated how many people would be interested. But on the other hand, it shouldn't be taking an organized airline this long to increase their server capacity to allow customer access. Will the website be stable by July, when customers are supposed to be able to use it to track their pet's travel progress?

Another thing that has been at the back of my mind is; has anyone managed to find a picture of one of the cabins of these planes? Maybe I'm just paranoid when it comes to my dogs, but I think I'd appreciate seeing exactly what sort of setting my pups would be traveling in.

March 05, 2008

Winter Dog Care Tip #5

This tip should go without saying, but since I've seen so many people do this, I have to suggest... don't shave your dog in the winter!
I know, I know, Fluffy looks *so* cute in her show cut, and Scruffy will resemble a dust mop if he doesn't get a haircut soon, but they really do need the extra warmth during this time of the year. And truly, none of the other dogs are going to laugh at them during their "bad hair day" time : D

February 19, 2008

Winter Dog Care Tip #4

Even if your dog never steps a foot outside in the winter, it can still be a miserable time for them right in your home. Cold air drops. Floor temperatures are lower, particularly on tile and hard wood. And since your pooch is considerably lower to the ground than you are, they'll feel it long before it has you reaching for the thermostat. Try walking through the house for an hour or two with bare feet. If you find yourself wanting a pair of socks or slippers, then chances are your pup isn't as comfortable as he wants to be either!
The simple fact is, a dog who may have spent the summer months sprawled comfortably across your living room floor will not likely be so comfy when winter hits if you haven't got the proper sleeping area for him (or her). Now is definitely the time to consider getting a good dog bed, or at least pile up some warm blankets for him to lay on. Be sure to position their bedding away from doorways and drafts and... heat vents. Yep, you read that correctly, keep their bedding away from the heat vents. The reasoning here is twofold: For one, if the bed is near enough for your dog to get overly warm while the furnace is on, the large fluctuations in temperature between running times will not be good for him when he's snoozing. The other reason is, many modern heating systems have a "cool down" cycle where, for a short time, the heating elements shut off and cooler air blows through the vents. This isn't *cold* air so to say, but still cool enough that it could fall into the "draft" category.

February 12, 2008

Winter Dog Care Tip #3

It's a common misconception that all dogs can deal with cold weather "just fine" because they have fur. While it's true that Mother Nature has made certain breeds quite hardy, others have virtually no tolerance for cold and need extra protection to stay safe. The age, size, and physical condition of your dog are all factors to consider. Elderly pets and puppies are particularly succeptible to the cold, as are small breed dogs and dogs with thin fur or certain medical conditions.
So if you find that your pooch just isn't cut out for a job at Snow Patrol, the best thing you can do is to provide them with a warm dog coat or dog sweater before they venture outside. Those made of fleece or wool are the best choices because they help retain heat and carry moisture away from the body as well, and be sure to select a style that covers your dog's belly too!
Do keep in mind though that even if your dog is sporting the best coat or sweater on the market, a truly susceptible pet shouldn't be left outside for any longer than necessary.

January 30, 2008

Winter Dog Care Tip #2

Everyone knows that leaving you dog locked in a parked car during the hot summer months can lead to tragedy, but did you know that the same warning applies during the winter months too? A car loses heat rapidly after the motor is shut off, and then it becomes a giant refrigerator for your pet. Hypothermia can set in within minutes if the temperature drops too low, particularly in small dogs or elderly pets.
Symptoms of pet hypothermia include shivering, shallow breathing, weakness, listlessness and low body temperature. If your dog has been exposed to the cold and exhibits any of these signs, seek veterinary help immediately. First aid measures involve wrapping the dog in a warm blanket and moving them to a heated room (or vehicle... on the way to a vet!), but even if your dog appears to be fine after awhile you should still seek your veterinarian's advice because kidney and bladder problems are common in pets that have been exposed to overly cold temperatures.

January 13, 2008

Dog Webpage Templates

For those of you who are thinking of starting a dog-related website, we're now offering affordable dog website templates! More will be added soon, and our webmaster has also announced that he can do custom graphics work for those needing it. We also have two freebie website templates for introducing a new puppy into the clan Here.

January 03, 2008

Winter Dog Care Tip #1

Paw care is essential during the winter months, even if your dog doesn't go outdoors much. Snow and ice can quickly become crusted between their toes and cause serious chapping or even frostbite. If you walk your dog on public sidewalks, salt and other chemicals can also harm them, and can be very dangerous if your dog licks their paws after coming inside. You should always clean your dog's paws and belly thoroughly when they come in from the snow to help avoid this.
You may also want to consider getting a pair of dog boots for maximum protection, or at least some dog paw balm to soothe any chapping.

Check your dog's extremities frequently for signs of frost bite. The skin will redden initially and may be painful, then will exhibit pale whitish or grayish color changes. Eventually the skin or foot pad surfaces will begin to slough off. If you notice these signs, contact your veterinarian immediately for help. First aid measures involve warming the affected area with warm water-soaked towels (not hot), but do NOT rub or massage the area or it may cause further damage. Other areas that are also commonly affected by frostbite include the ears, tail, and scrotum.