Last weekend we had three guests come on the show and share with us technology and resources to make traveling with pets a positive and safe experience. Listen to the podcast and check out this article to learn a little more about the tech and resources they shared with us.
For those of you who are not aware, GoPetFriendly.com, is a website that specializes in helping you find pet friendly locations on your travels. The site contains a database of over 65,000 pet friendly locations, giving you and your pet plenty of places to explore. If you’re going on a road trip, the site contains a wicked awesome feature called the “Road Trip Planner” that lets you pick a route from one place to another and then displays all the phenomenal places that you can take your pet to along the way. Not only does the site help you find pet friendly places, but it also provides tips and resources to make traveling with your pet easier. Amy even has a blog on the site that shares her adventures on the road with her husband and furkids, and the things she has learned from traveling with her pets.
When you transport small children in a car, you keep them secure in a car seat to prevent them from flying around the cabin in the event an accident were to occur. It only makes sense you would want to do the same for your pet, right? However, you’re not going to be able to strap your pooch in a child’s car seat (Lorien tried it once…it was not a pretty sight). The seat doesn’t fit their anatomy, and if you tried and managed to strap your pet in a child’s car seat, we promise, the experience will be seriously unpleasant for them AND won’t really protect them properly. Amy Burkert of GoPetFriendly recommends you check out the Sleepypod. The Sleepypod is a comfy bed for your pet that can transform into a stylish carrier and car seat. This mobile bed has passed a crash-safety-tested and should keep your pet safe during transport.
On your travels, your canine companion may become over excited by the new environments sights and smells. This could possibly lead to your canine pulling the leash and possibly slipping his collar as you pull back. The Martingale collars by Alcott are designed to prevent your canine from possibly slipping his collar by tightening when he starts to pull. The collar is available in 3 adjustable sizes to help ensure dogs of all sizes don’t escape their pet parents.
Similar to Alcott’s collar, Two Hounds Design walking harness prevents your pet from escaping your care. The harness wraps around your dog’s chest, making it much more difficult and unlikely for your dog to slip out of. To prevent pulling, the harness tightens when your dog starts to pull to discourage the behavior, and tightens when your pet starts to stray. You also don’t need to worry about your dog getting sores from chaffing, as the harness uses Swiss Velvet a material that prevents it.
Pet’s love treats! Treats are what dog trainers and owners use to reward their dogs for good behavior. In order to get your dog to associate the good behavior with the positive reinforcement (a.k.a. the treat), you must reward them immediately after the good behavior takes place. Keeping treat bags handy will help you consistently enforce good behavior, making traveling with your pet a little easier.
Jessica Williams, of YouDidWhatWithYourWeiner.com is a big believer in planning ahead and using a website like GoPetFriendly.com. However, sometimes, you are on the road and plans change, and having an app on your phone can save the day! The Bring Fido app is similar to GoPetFriendly.com, as it can help you locate pet friendly hotels, restaurants and parks. It isn’t as robust as GoPetFriendly.com, but it is a great app for those last minute and spontaneous trips with your furry family. Unfortunately for android users, this app is only available to iOS. The good news is GoPetFriendly.com is a responsive website.
The Pethub QR Digital Dog & Cat ID tag is a must have in order to help your pet get back to you in the event they got lost. This is especially crucial if you’re traveling with your pet since the new places and new smells may send your dog running. On the show, our guest Jessica even points out how the PetHub tag helps spare her from digging out or carrying her pet’s vaccination records around, making it easier for her to check into hotels who may request this information.
Jingling of keys can entertain or irritate. Just ask the Penster the Boston Terror — she goes full-on Cujo when someone started jingling keys. However, keys aren’t the only things that jingle. Aluminum and steel tags and rings can jingle, too — and that jingling can lead to long-term damage and wear on tags, which reduces their safety effectiveness. To stop irritating jingling and wear-n-tear on your pets tags, you can apply the Freezetag. The Freezetag is a nifty little device that prevents your pet’s tag from flopping about and creating the jingle sound. It’s also perfect for sneaking out hotels early in the morning for potty breaks.
Okay, we’re all about the pet geeky stuff…but humans need tech toys, too! And since many dog parents like Jessica are trudging trails with Fido all the time, a sturdy activity tracker is a must-have. The Vivo Active is a GPS smart watch which enables you to track your activity. Whether you’re running, swimming, biking, or even walking your dog, Vivo can track the calories you burn, the pace you’re moving in, and the distance you covered. This device is like the Fitbit, but has more polished features such as a longer battery life and a more accurate heart monitor.
If you get ONE fancy tech tool for hiking (with or without your pup), GET THIS ONE! In the event you and your pet end up getting lost together on one of your ventures in the wilderness, the inReach can help save you from a night in the cold. The inReach is a GPS device that can send an S.O.S. beacon if you happen to find yourself in a dangerous situation within the wilderness. When the beacon is activated, it sends an alert to the nearest emergency station. The device also has the ability to two-way text, so you can text family members to let them know you’re running late. Also, if you activate the S.O.S. beacon it will give you the ability to text with search and rescuers.
If you’re looking for a low budget hiker safety tool while you’re hiking with the dogs, you can try HikerAlert.com. This site lets you enter information about you, where you’re going, when you expect to be back, and emergency contacts. If you don’t check in at the time you state you will be back, the site sends you a text to see if you’re okay. If it doesn’t hear back from you after awhile it will start alerting your emergency contacts.
You may want to consider bringing a battery charger to keep those safety devices charged. The GoalZero Venture Battery Recharger can keep your critical safety devices charged for those long walks in the woods (or camp outs!) with your pet. It is tough and waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about dropping it on hard surfaces or in water. You can also purchase a solar panel to attach to the battery charger to capture and store energy — ooh, super-geeky-awesome.
Sometimes you just need your hands free from a dog leash to take the perfect shot of the land with your camera. The Ruffwear Flat Out Leash can adjust to where you can wrap it around your waist allowing you to take that perfect shot. The leash can also easily adjust to clip around things like a tree to keep your pet safe on campgrounds. I like to point out that I don’t recommend restraining your dog to a post outside a store while you run your errands since this increases your pet’s risk of being stolen or getting lost.
Collars and leashes can wear out easily if they’re composed of non-durable material, because of this some collar and leash manufactures introduced the material biothane to their collars. Biothane is a soft rubber material that’s coated on nylon webbing to create a biothane collar or leash. What’s special about this material is that it doesn’t attract dirt and are easy to clean. This material is also very durable and keeps collars and leashes looking new for a very long time. Some of the collars PetHub sells are made with biothane, such as the reflective collars show above — combining the pawsomeness of the QR digital tag and the amazing collar material! Ullr wears a PetHub reflective collar and his collar looks new even though it’s more than three years old!
The Center for Pet Safety is a great website that lets you check to see if pet traveling products, such as kennels, have been tested and, most importantly, passed testing. It also provides the latest advisories and recalls on new pet products that hit the market. It’s a must-check before securing a purchase on new pet traveling or safety products.
Pet Sitters International (PSI) is a wonderful organization that helps pet sitters start pet-sitting businesses, as well as help train and educate them to be well-trusted pet-sitting professionals. Not only does PSI help pet sitters, but it also helps pet owners find professional pet sitters. On the show, we had Beth Stultz, the vice president of marketing and operations at PSI, share with us seven things we should keep in mind when hiring a pet sitter.
- Does the pet sitter have a business license? It might be required in the city, county, or state and the pet owner may find herself in trouble if anything were to happen.
- Is the pet sitter insured and bonded? This will cover your pet or home in case anything happens
- Does the pet sitter have a criminal history? Remember this person is caring for your furkid and your home while you’re away. If the pet sitter you’re considering created quite the rap sheet you may not want to trust them with your precious furbabies and the keys to your home.
- Ask for references and testimonials. You will get a better idea of what kind of service this pet sitter gives.
- Does the pet sitter use a contract or service agreement? This will create a legal binding that lets both parties know what to services to expect or to perform.
- Is the pet sitter educated? Can the pet sitter perform CPR or first aid? A well-skilled pet sitter reduces the risk of anything happening to your pet and home.
- Set your pet and pet sitter up for success. Give your pet sitter an initial visit to your home. Your pet sitter can learn the layout and what you expect from them. Also your pet can get to know him or her better.
Have more great pet travel tech tools to share with us? Drop us a note at infoATpetlovergeekDOTcom and we’ll check it out!