Saturday, May 26, 2012

Travels with Elka

You may have noticed that some of the pictures lately are showing a somewhat different background. That's because we went on a vacation to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina!

It was Elka's first time at the beach, and she had a blast! More pictures of that will be forthcoming. She didn't swim, but she did splash around some, and enjoyed the new sights and sounds.

It was her first car ride that was quite so long (12 hours!), her first time at the beach, her first time seeing kites, and her first time seeing a pool!


Because I'm a nut, there were certain precautions I was sure to take.

First, in the car. Elka's Ezydog Chest Plate Harness has an attachment to hook to a seatbelt, so that she's secured while the vehicle is moving. That way, she isn't a distraction to the driver, she isn't a flight risk when we open doors, and she can't go anywhere if there is an accident. I started looking for a seatbelt harness as soon as I read the force multiplication of a dog that size, in event of a car crash. Scary stuff.

At a rest stop in Pennsylvania (you can kind of see Elka. I only just realized that I took no pictures of her in the car with her harness):


Second, even on our four-hour jaunts to New Jersey, Elka has gotten car sick. We did not want this happening on our 12 hour trip! She can be stressed and miserable (it's the only time I've seen her truly drool), and that's just a bad scene. So, I called the vet to ask them about this, and they suggested a dose of Dramamine that I will not repeat here, because I'm not a vet, and you should ask your own rather than getting advice on the Interweb. They didn't charge me for the phone call! Happily, the Dramamine worked well, and she snoozed with her head on our friend's lap the entire trip. Additionally, I cut off her food the night before (there and back) to make sure she was fairly empty.



Third, pretty much at all times, Elka was on both her harness and a collar and Liberty's Attachment. I even got a snazzy waterproof gun dog collar, with a plate on it engraved with her name and our phone numbers, should she get loose. I did not want to lose my dog in North Carolina.

Last, I made sure that I had treated her with anti flea/tick junk. It's not Frontline, though I can't remember what the kind I used is called. Pet Armor? It's a green box, and tends to smell like orange essential oil, and I think that's the kind of stuff it's made up of, as opposed to nameless chemicals. I know that some animals have gotten sick from flea and tick junk. I also gave her an anti-heartworm pill, as The South is typically where one worries about heartworm. I also brought a jug of our water from home, so that she didn't have to suddenly adjust to different water.  That last detail might have been overkill, and might not. I figured better safe than sorry.

I think she had a good time!




28 comments:

  1. Sounds like you had a safe and good time. When we traveled with our horses, we always took our own water, too, as they indeed would be put off by different water. Looking forward to the next set of photos.

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    1. Glad to hear that the water thing wasn't too crazy-person of me! To be fair, none of the other people on the trip batted an eye at it.

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  2. Smart travel tips! And yeah, that OTC stuff can make some animals sick, so please be sure to talk to your vet about that too.

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    1. It's funny, back when I first bought it and hadn't used it yet, the vet said "And are you using a flea and tick preventative? Because _____ is a good one".

      It's hard to feel safe even with vet recommended products, though. I just wish I could put her in a bubble! That, and some things that are fine for my dog have made other dogs terribly ill.

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  3. If I'm ever going on a long distance trip with the dogs along, I'm contacting you for preparation advice! It sounds like you thought of everything, did not leave anything to chance. Awesome! Bet Elka had a fun time, how exciting :)

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    1. I kind of made it up as I went along, but I did have specific things in mind: not wanting her to get lost, not wanting her to get sick,and not wanting to ruin her collar!

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  4. Can't wait to see more photos :-) Bravo to you for your preparations. And I don't think water from home is overkill at all. We ALWAYS take water from home. Years ago we learned to do this for our horses who would not drink "strange" water.

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    1. It's funny the similarities that dogs and horses have sometimes! We call Elka "horse" sometimes, for stomping on our feet. She's done it more than any horse I ever knew.

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  5. Great travel tips! It sounds like a good time was had by all! :)

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    1. Yes! The weather wasn't fantastic, but it was still a very fun trip.

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  6. Lovely photos and all your tips are great. I really want to lake a long trip with some of the dogs sometime but its so tough with five and somebody would have to stay back

    urban hounds

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    1. I think I packed more carefully for Elka than I did for me....for 5 dogs? I'd have to stay home!

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  7. Just found your blog and thought I would say "hi". It looks like
    Elka had a good and safe trip!
    Stewey

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    1. Hi! Thanks for reading. She did have a lot of fun!

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  8. Elka is such a great name! What a gorgeous dog!

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    1. Thanks very much! It took a lot of name talk, before we ever even saw the puppies, to reach "Elka".

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  9. Sounds like you had a good time. Can't wait to see more pictures.

    Thunder used to get carsick as a young dog. It can definitely be a pain! We cured it by making many trips with me sitting in the backseat with him. Eventually he got over it.

    So you don't have Elka on heart worm preventative normally? Our dogs are on it May-Dec and we do not live south. It isn't just in the south. Keep in mind that it works a month backward not forward. So if you give it today, it is for 30 days past. :)

    We use Frontline on all of our dogs for feas/ticks. They do fine on it. Hate the stuff but it works.

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    1. I didn't have Elka on heartworm preventative before the last year, but i do now. Strangely, they hadn't really brought it up in my vet's office.

      Really, I think if Elka was in the car more often, she might get over the sickness as well, but most of my time spent in the car is VERY brief. I guess we ought to take jaunts to state parks or something, give her "road legs"!

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  10. Looks like you're having a tail wagging time! I'm going on holiday later this week too *waggy tail*

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    1. Yay, I hope you have a good time!

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  11. Glad you're all getting to enjoy a wonderful time at the beach. I have to wonder, though. Are you protecting your own safety as much as you are Elka's? I certainly hope you wore your seat belt. :)

    Elka makes a beautiful bathing beauty.

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    1. Oh, I DEFINITELY wear my seatbelt. I'm the kind of driver that always signals turns, even when no other cars are on the road, and I do always come to a complete stop at stop signs ;)

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  12. Yay - you went on a great adventure!!

    It was great to read about your long trip - my Mum is considering taking me to Blogpaws (I'm assuming I'm going!!) and it will be a little longer than your trip - I'm great in the car, but I haven't been quite that far before, so the timing of your post was perfect! :) Thanks for sharing :)

    Your pal Snoopy :)

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    1. It was a fantastic time!

      I'm glad that the post was helpful! I do try ;) Have fun at Blogpaws...Salt Lake City was just too far to think about!

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  13. Hi, I haven't commented before but have been reading you for a while. I love how detailed your list is... really great tips! I would not have thought about bringing water from home. We just got a new puppy so we're starting over on everything. Took her to Home Depot today... she rode in the top of the shopping cart and did really well (she's 10 weeks).

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    1. Thanks for reading, and congratulations on your new puppy!

      I've heard that Home Depot can be a really great place to take your dog. Have fun with her!

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  14. Looks like you had a great time at the beach Elka! Mum likes to make sure we are all safe in the car too, your chest plate harness such looks snazzy!

    Slobbers

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