Buffalo Companion Animal Clinic

1214 Hwy 25 N

Buffalo, MN 55313

Phone: (763) 682-2181

OFFICE HOURS

Mon, Tues, Thurs: 7 am - 8 pm

Wed & Friday: 7 am - 6 pm

Saturday: 8 am - 12 pm

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Carlos’ Corner

Tips to Reduce Stress When Traveling by Plane with Your Pet

 
It's summer, glorious summer, and that means travel season. Many people can't stand the thought of being away from their pet for too long, and who can blame them? We're adorable. That doesn't mean we like traveling by plane, but it can be done. Just ask the fine folks at Buffalo Companion Animal Clinic who compiled the tips you see below.
 
Happy traveling,
Carlos
 
 
The thought of boarding an airplane with their pet strikes fear into the heart of many people. Dogs and cats can become highly stressed in a busy airport, not to mention on the flight itself. You both end up feeling stressed and feed off each other’s anxious feelings. Whether you choose to fly with a pet in tow or it’s your only option, try to remain as calm as you can to set the expectation for your pet. The tips outlined below can make the experience more enjoyable for the entire family as well.
 
 Certain Breeds of Pets Should Not Fly
According to the American Humane Society, some breeds of dogs and cats have extreme difficulty breathing on a plane due to reduced oxygen in the pressurized cabin. These include any type of brachycephalic dog or cat, which technically means the animal has genetically inherited a pushed-in face. Bulldogs, pugs, and Persian cats fit this description. Their nasal passages are too short to allow for normal breathing on a plane. 

Keep Your Pet in the Airplane’s Cabin if Possible
Your dog or cat will probably still feel anxious about flying, but riding in a carrier where she can see you can dramatically reduce her stress. Some airlines allow limited numbers of small pets contained within a carrier to remain with their owners. Each airline has its own rules, so be certain to check on this option early. Most cats meet size limitations, but your dog may not. 

When Your Pet Must Fly in Cargo
If you’re unable to keep your pet in the cabin with you, be sure to follow these tips for the trip in the plane’s cargo hold to go as smoothly as possible:

  • When an airline loses a pet, it’s usually during a connecting flight. You can reduce that risk by booking a direct connection.
  • Do not give your pet tranquilizers before the flight unless you have received a prescription from Buffalo Companion Animal Clinic. Also, avoid feeding him for at least four hours before the flight to reduce the likelihood of motion sickness. 
  • Try to avoid flying with your pet when outside temperatures are extremely hot or cold, both in your departing city and your destination city.
  • Leave your pet’s carrier out at home for a few days before the trip to allow her to get used to it.
  • Be sure that your pet has proper identification, including a microchip, tag, and collar. You should label his pet carrier as well. 
  • Groom your pet a few days before the trip and be sure to trim her nails. This prevents her from getting them caught on anything at the airport or on the plane.
Once you land and collect your pet from cargo, examine him from head to tail to ensure he didn’t sustain any injuries during the flight. If anything seems amiss, be sure to take a photo while still at the airport in case you need to file a complaint later.

Visit Us for a Check-Up Before You Fly
We recommend scheduling a preventive care exam approximately two weeks before your trip to make sure that your pet is healthy enough to fly. Our staff will check his vaccination status and give any vaccines that are due soon. We also advise you to learn the airline’s pet policies well in advance to avoid additional stress on the day of your trip.
 
Photo Credit: Damedeeso / Getty Images

 

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July 15 is Pet Fire Safety Day

 
I will let you in on a little secret: dogs and cats can be quick and mischievous. Okay, so maybe it's not such a secret that we're curious and can get into trouble in a hurry without your help. This Pet Fire Safety
Day, be sure to think like a dog or cat and pet-proof your house so we don't accidentally start a fire.
 
Best,
Carlos
 
 
Several years ago, the American Kennel Club (AKC) and ADT Security Services started an awareness campaign called Pet Fire Safety Day on July 15 of each year. This was in response to the alarming statistics about pets and fires. Did you know that companion animals start approximately 1,000 home fires every year? Even more startling, 40,000 pets die in fire-related incidents each year and another 500,00 receive some type of injury. Many of these fires are in the home, but they can also be burns received in a backyard barbeque or accidental contact with another form of heat or fire.

Tips to Prevent Your Pet from Becoming a Fire Statistic
One of the easiest ways to prevent a serious fire in your home is to install a smoke detector on every level. However, that only alerts you to a fire after it has already started. We recommend taking the following actions to prevent fires and unsafe situations for your pet in the first place:
  • Walk around your home with your pet’s mindset and look for areas where you need to pet-proof. The stove is a common example. A dog who is excited to see you at the end of a long day could easily jump up and bump a burner with his or her paw. Loose wires are another potential way that your pet could start a fire. Additionally, make sure that you keep all hot items like curling irons and heating pads out of your pet’s reach.
  • Never leave your pet unsupervised around an open flame. Whether you’re cooking on the stove or burning candles to get a nice scent in the house, extinguish flames when you’re done and don’t allow your pet to approach the fire source.
  • When you must leave pets home alone, put them in a room or entrance near the front of the house where a firefighter could reach them more easily. You should also check to make sure they’re not located near any fire hazards when you leave the house.
  • Place a window cling or note on your door that states the number of pets inside in case of an emergency. Both AKC and ADT offer free window clings and you can find them at community safety events as well.
Create a Fire Escape Plan That Includes Your Pet
We have written before about the importance of preparing for disaster before it happens. This includes the possibility of a house fire or burn injury. Make sure that you have a first aid kit prepared for your pet and keep an extra leash and collar by the front door that you can grab quickly. These precautions don’t take long to implement, but can make a life or death difference for your pet. If your pet does sustain injuries in a fire, please contact Buffalo Companion Animal Hospital immediately for treatment.
 
Photo Credit: JStaley / Getty Images

 

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