Tips for Traveling with your Pets

Pet Travel Tips

1. Make sure your pet has current ID tags and a microchip before travel. Your pet can get very stressed and will react differently in unfamiliar surroundings.

2. Bring a gallon of your pet’s normal drinking water and your pet’s normal diet. Bring more food than you think you may need, having to switch diets is very difficult on your pet’s digestive system. If you are not able to bring enough food, call ahead and make sure you can purchase your pet’s normal diet in the areas you will be staying.

3. Bringing along some familiar items may comfort your pet while traveling. A favorite blanket or toy, even their usual food bowl may help. But don’t get overzealous and bring too many items, keeping track of them may be stressful for you. Keeping everyone stress free will keep your pet at ease while traveling.

4. Does your pet get car sick? If so please feel free to contact us at (970) 635-1850 for details on a product that is great for car sickness

small dog

Reasons to Spay & Neuter


  1. Your female pet will live a longer, healthier life.
  2. Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer, which is fatal in about 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats. Spaying your pet before her first heat offers the best protection from these diseases.
  3. Your spayed female won’t go into heat.
    While cycles can vary, female felines usually go into heat four to five days every three weeks during breeding season. In an effort to advertise for mates, they’ll yowl and urinate more frequently—sometimes all over the house!
  4. Neutering provides major health benefits for your male.
    Besides preventing unwanted litters, neutering your male companion prevents testicular cancer, if done before six months of age.
  5. Your male dog won’t want to roam away from home.
    An intact male will do just about anything to find a mate! That includes digging his way under the fence and making like Houdini to escape from the house. And once he’s free to roam, he risks injury in traffic and fights with other males
  6. Your neutered male will be much better behaved.
    Neutered cats and dogs focus their attention on their human families. On the other hand, unneutered dogs and cats may mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine all over the house. Many aggression problems can be avoided by early neutering.
  7. Spaying or neutering will NOT make your pet fat.
    Don’t use that old excuse! Lack of exercise and overfeeding will cause your pet to pack on the extra pounds—not neutering. Your pet will remain fit and trim as long as you continue to provide exercise and monitor food intake.
  8. It is highly cost-effective.
    The cost of your pet’s spay/neuter surgery is a lot less than the cost of having and caring for a litter. It also beats the cost of treatment when your unneutered tom escapes and gets into fights with the neighborhood stray!
  9. Spaying and neutering your pet is good for the community.
    Stray animals pose a real problem in many parts of the country. They can prey on wildlife, cause car accidents, damage the local fauna and frighten children. Spaying and neutering packs a powerful punch in reducing the number of animals on the streets.
  10. Your pet doesn’t need to have a litter for your children to learn about the miracle of birth.
    Letting your pet produce offspring you have no intention of keeping is not a good lesson for your children—especially when so many unwanted animals end up in shelters. There are tons of books and videos available to teach your children about birth in a more responsible way.
  11. Spaying and neutering helps fight pet overpopulation.
    Every year, millions of cats and dogs of all ages and breeds are euthanized or suffer as strays. These high numbers are the result of unplanned litters that could have been prevented by spaying or neutering.
drawing of dog with flowers in mouth

Safe Plants

Garden Tips

The garden shops and catalogs are full of gorgeous garden shrubs and flowers. They tell us how to water and how much sunshine is needed, but rarely do they tell us if the plant is pet safe.Your dog or cat is probably having visions of digging through or chewing up the plants. We’ll leave the fencing and reprimanding up to you, but just to be on the safe side, how about planting only non-toxic plants? If unplanned periodic demolition of the garden by the family dog is a fact of life, it is good to know the plants he or she is chewing up are non-toxic. It may not help the garden any, but knowing your pet isn’t going to get sick because of it is one less thing to worry about. It’s good to know what is considered safe should the family pet get frisky and start chewing and digging in the flower beds.We’ll try to help out.

The following plants are considered safe:

Catnip Garden – Catnip (Nepeta cataria)


Catnip was brought to America by early colonists and was considered to be a commercial crop. Numerous medical properties have been ascribed to catnip and it has been used in teas, soaks, and poultices. Today its uses are largely confined to feline entertainment as its active ingredient, cis-trans-nepetalactone, is a mild hallucinogen. Rubbing, rolling, and other merry-making are produced, though one should be careful as aggressive behavior is often made worse by catnip indulgence.Catnip BudResponse to catnip is inherited genetically as a dominant trait which means that not all cats will be affected. Kittens under age 6-8 weeks are not able to respond.

Catnip is felt to be a safe and non-addictive recreational drug for cats but there is some thinking that overdose can produce seizures. For this reason, it is best not used in cats with a history of seizures. Chronic exposure to catnip may cause an apparent loss of mental faculty and possibly personality change. Catnip can be a fun garden plant if the climate is right but can quickly turn into a weed problem if one is not careful. Catnip should be considered an occasional treat for cats able to respond to it.

In Review

One of the problems with knowing what plants are safe for your pets is that many different plants have the same common name. There are many plants that use the name “wandering jew”; but the one we have confirmed the non-toxicity of is Zebrina pendula. There are also several diffent plants that are called African Daisies; the one pictured here as safe is of the genus Dimorphotheca. The non-toxic Resurrection Lily (also called the Varigated Peacock Ginger) is a safe plant. The name “resurrection lily” has also been applied to the Lycoris genus of lily. Many types of lily are toxic and we do not have information on the Lycoris lilies. Whether it is a shrub, a tree or just a potted plant, it’s good to know that a dog or cat can’t be harmed by chewing up a few leaves or petals.

Further Information on Pet Plant Safety

A great link for safe plant information:  http://poisonousplants.ansci.cornell.edu/

Safe Gardening
Wendy C. Brooks, DVM, DABVP
Mar Vista Animal Medical Center

poison symbol

Poisonous Plants

Are any of the plants in your yard poisonous to your pets?

Poisonous plants can mean disaster for the family pet. Check this link to: The Cornell University Toxic Plant Index. All pet owners should bookmark this site, which has photographs of plants that are poisonous to pets.

The Following are just a few examples of poisonous plants