Skip to main content

Should you take your dogs on vacation?

As I sat outside enjoying yet another beautiful San Diego sunrise, I can't help but think about the little boys. Wouldn't they have loved a break from the harsh, cold winter?

We stay with our brother and sister-in-law who have a gated compound. I think of how the dogs would run their hearts out on the lush, green grass. How little Rocki, who we suspect is part pig, would be in his glory digging in the tropical foliage. How Bruiser, our little sun worshipper, would park himself by the pool and sun himself to his heart's content.

We have often toyed with bringing them but I have many reservations about putting them in a cage on a plane. My misgivings were given more weight when I saw a woman in the Minneapolis airport with her little white Maltese. The poor thing was so scared it shook as she dragged it on it's leash past the hordes of people in the security lineup. I read of a dog dying on one of the airlines and now they don't allow pets anymore. However, if we drove down here, we could bring them. Although to drive for four days there and four days back pretty much voids the concept of a two week vacation.

So for now, we must leave the boys at home. And for us, it's like leaving our children. If we came for six months we certainly would make the drive. However, the winning lottery ticket has so far eluded us. :-) So, we plan for the future...six months in Canada and six months in sunny SoCal with the boys.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ear infections

Dogs with long, floppy ears are prone to ear infections, and Shih-Tzus are certainly not immune. My oldest just got treated for one.

At first, I didn't even realize he had an infection. When I was growing up, we had a Lhasa Apso and whenever she got the infection, there was a distinct odor that came from her ear so we knew it was time to go to the vet. However, when I checked my oldest, there was no odor so I let it go longer than I should have because I thought that it was just overly itchy and perhaps a bit irritated because of this scratching. I realized something was wrong after my husband told me he got up in the middle of the night and found our oldest scratching his ear and crying. That was enough to convince me something wasn't right. I immediately made an appointment with the vet and, lo and behold, he had an ear infection.

So what are the signs? Assuming there is no odor (which is a dead giveaway), this is what you need to watch for:
1. repeated scratching of the affec…

Grooming the Shih-Tzu's eye area

The eye area, and the face in general, are the hardest parts of grooming simply because you need your dog to sit perfectly still in order to cut away in these delicate areas.

The most important tool? Sharp, snub-nosed scissors. I picked mine up at a holistic pet shop where the owners regularly show their dogs so they had a lot of expertise in grooming and actually cater to people who groom their dogs for show, so they had all the right supplies. However, many pet stores carry grooming equipment. The owners explained to me that the snub-nose is most important because if your pet does move, there is no pointed tip to harm them.

Now I have trained my boys to sit still by using voice commands...speaking gently to them and raising my voice slowly and adding firmness if they continue to squirm around. Now they will lay in my arms or sit quietly on the floor while I groom their face. This method of training requires an inordinate amount of patience (which, thankfully, I have). However, I know …

Raw Food Diets - Are They Healthy?

Proponents of the raw food diet basically say that dogs should be fed raw meat, vegetables and bones...basically what they would eat in the wild. In addition, they say that your dogs should never eat grains, rice or other carbohydrates. Why? Apparently, grains are one of the biggest sources of allergies in dogs and, because grains make up the majority of commercial dog food, our pets will be free of allergy-related symptoms once they start the raw food diet (and they won't have flatulence).

When can your dog eat chicken bones? Apparently on the raw food diet. I was taught to never give a dog chicken bones, but it seems you can if they're raw because raw bones are not dangerous - they are soft enough to bend easily and break well for the dog to digest.

Those in favor of the diet claim dogs are healthier, have more energy, require fewer trips to the vet, have fewer weight problems, produce much less stool and stool is firm and disintegrates easily. Apparently raw food also cleans…