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Memorial Day Pet Travel Safety Tips

79166865Memorial Day Pet Travel Safety Tips

A lot of us like to celebrate the long weekend by going out of town. We load up the family and the pets into the car and take off for the weekend. Whether it is hiking in the mountains, going to the beach, or visiting friends, Memorial Day is a great weekend to get away. But if you do go out of town, or just pack up the car with the family and the dog, make sure you follow some safety tips to keep everyone safe while you travel.


1. Do not drive with your dog in your lap. This is not safe for them or you. It inhibits your ability to access the steering wheel properly and if you get into an accident your dog can be easily crushed.

2. Do not let them hang their head out of the window. At high speeds the wind can cause damage to their ears, as well as debris flying through the air.

3. Use a crate or a harness. There are dog harnesses that let you put your dog in a seatbelt, so they cannot wander around your vehicle and will be more safe in case of an accident. A crate is usually the better option, they are less restrictive than harnesses and your dog will be more comfortable.

4. Do not overfeed them before traveling. They don’t want to have an accident in the car, nor do they want to feel carsick. Just like people, if they have too much food in the belly they are more likely to get carsick.

5. Make sure to stop regularly so they can use the bathroom and get fresh water. Also it gives them a chance to run around. Just like us, they don’t like being cramped up in the car.

6. Do not leave your dog alone in the car. In a matter of minutes it can get over 100 degrees in the car and your dog can potentially die if left in extreme heat for too long.

7. Do not give them fast food. If you are on a long trip you may be tempted to share some of your fast food with your pup. But there is a good chance that you will make them sick or give them diarrhea. Better to let them have their own food and bring some treats.

8. If your dog gets anxious in the car, you can give them Rescue Remedy to help calm them down.

Do or Do Not: The Dewclaw

dewclaw removal

dewclaw removalclaDo or Do Not: The Dewclaw

The dewclaw is that little extra toe about an inch up from your dogs paw. It is a full toe, with a claw, and it doesn’t seem to have too much purpose. Also called a dog’s “thumb” the dewclaw is on the front legs of most dogs and sometimes on the back leg as well. Dewclaws in the front usually have both muscle and bone in them, though in the back they can lack both muscle and bone.

The dewclaws are not completely useless. They assist in climbing, tearing meat and bone (or toys, as the case may be), and can help with running if they touch the ground. But this funny little toe can also be prone to getting hurt. On some dogs, the dewclaw is quite delicate and is highly prone to getting broken.

Due to its often delicate nature, some people want to remove the dewclaw. This is usually done when dogs are puppy’s. If they are less than 5 days old, they do not need to be put under anesthetic. Often dewclaw removals are done during a spay or neuter. However, most vets frown on removing dewclaws. In some countries, it is illegal to remove them with the exception of hunting dogs (due to a very high risk of the claw getting ripped off).

Beyond the risk of the dewclaw getting caught on things, there is no benefit to removing them. It can also be a painful procedure for you dog.  If your dog has a prominent dewclaw, and you do not remove it, keep the nail trimmed short. This will help prevent it from catching on things.

If your dog is frequently damaging their dewclaw, consult your vet to talk to them about best options. Otherwise, it is best to leave that funny little dog thumb alone.

No more Heinz 57 Mutts: DNA Testing

albuquerque dog dna

albuquerque dog dnaNo more Heinz 57 Mutts: DNA Testing

(We do not offer this service)

It was always fun to guess the breeds that made up our mutt’s. Half this or that with a bit of something else. However, with DNA testing, we no longer have to guess our dog’s breed makeup. You can do them with a simple swab of your dogs mouth and send away for the key to unlocking their breed heritage. But why would you want to do that? It can be fun to know all the various parts that make your mutt so special, but there are other better reasons that fun trivia. Your dog’s breed heritage can impact their health.

Different breeds of dogs are prone to different health issues. German Shepherds are prone to hip dysplasia and Boxers are prone to cancer. If you have a mutt puppy, their genetic makeup can help give you an idea of how big they will be, or keys to their potential personality.

There are different home tests that you can get that will test with varying levels of accuracy. You want to use one that has a large breed sample size to get more accurate results.

Once you find out your pups breed family tree, bring that information to your vet on your next annual checkup. Your vet can update you on potential health concerns to watch out for and if there is anything you can do to help ensure a long and happy life.

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The information provided on this website is written by Vetco staff. All information is meant to be informational and is not meant as veterinary advice. If you have a health question regarding your pet, their treatment or anything concerning their veterinary care, please call Vetco to consult with a veterinarian.