Archives for June 2018

Review: Sleepypod Air In-Cabin Dog Carrier Bag

best airline carriers for dogs

The Most Dog-Friendly Carrier?

Sleepypod‘s Air In-Cabin Carrier is so well-structured (it looks like the shape of a Tesla!) and they’ve thought of practically everything. I used it for the first time on our trip back from NYC to LA. Weston and Fira both fit in the bag comfortably (individually — not together at the same time, of course). FYI: Weston is 22 lbs and Fira is 13.5 lbs. 

The length of the bag is 22 inches so it’s nice and roomy. If the airline’s under-seat requirements are less than 22 inches, the sides of the bag can also fold up to 18 or 16 inches!

When you fold, it doesn’t stay up on its own but it stays nice and tight between the bars that are underneath airline seats. 

airline carrier for dogs

There are big pockets on both sides and on one side, it even unzips so you can slide the carrier over the handle of your wheeled luggage.

The plush lining also is removable by a zipper and you can toss in the wash. I felt really comfortable walking around with this carrier. The Sleepypod dog carrier shape is much sleeker compared to other airline carriers that are a boxy and can get clunky. 

My favorite part of the Sleepypod Air Carrier

The handle located on top is seriously so handy. With a dog in the carrier (especially a French Bulldog –they are dense), having the strap on your shoulder causes the weight to distribute unevenly sometimes. And if you’re running to your gate? Uh, forget about it. I loved using the handle and I even did a few reps of bicep curls as I was walking to my gate. Gotta get those workouts in somehow when you’re traveling!

The carrier also breaks down flat so you can store it away at home. It unzips almost all the way around allowing you to fold down the sides. 

If you end up getting this bag, make sure to get your pup acquainted with it with lots of treats and praise. I put a couple treats inside and let Weston lie down in it. He got so comfy in it, he didn’t leave. He ended up taking a nap in it. 

I’m so happy I found this bag and will be gettin good mileage out of this one! 

 

DISCLOSURE:

[ Where's The Frenchie is not affiliated with Sleepypod or sponsored. We were sent this carrier for our honest review. Where's The Frenchie is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and does incorporate affiliate links. ]

What You Need To Know About Pet Passports

how to get passport for my dog

Does my dog actually need a passport?

 

It is not required. If you are traveling with your dog internationally for the first time (from the US), you don’t need a passport but you must have international health certificates completed by a USDA-accredited vet. These forms will allow you to get your dog into your designated international country.

The forms vary by country but for most countries in the E.U., it’s a seven-page document you can find on the USDA website. You don’t need to fill out anything on this form yourself — this is all done by your vet. 

 

  • Make sure all vaccinations are up to date, including rabies. If your dog gets revaccinated with rabies, 21 days must pass before travel. 
  • Bring your filled out forms, rabies certificate and vaccination records to your local USDA office within 10 days of entering the E.U. (or other country).
  • The USDA office will officially stamp all the paperwork ($38) and you’re all set! 
  • This stamped paperwork is valid for 4 months. 

 

passport for my dog

Everything You Need To Know About Getting A Passport For Your Pet

 

If you foresee going out of the country with your dog again, definitely get a passport! This allows you to bypass all the previous paperwork and visits to the USDA office. 

Passports are only issued in the international country. You cannot get an E.U. pet passport issued in the US. Pet passports are valid for as long as the rabies vaccination is up to date (usually 1, 2, 3 years from administration). Once the rabies expires, the passport is expired and you’ll need to get a new one (which means doing the paperwork and another trip to the USDA office).

Most vets (in the E.U. or whatever country you are traveling to) can issue a passport for your pet. Call to check and make an appointment. They usually cost $75+ including their examination fee. 

If you live in the E.U…

You can get a passport issued in your home country and it is valid anywhere in the E.U.,including the U.K.) — lucky!

 

how to get a pet passport

Inside A Pet Passport

Bring all your paperwork and the vet will fill out everything! The passport has your information, optional photo of your pet, rabies vaccination and shot records.

If you’re going to countries in the United Kingdom (i.e.: islands), your dog will also need a tape worm treatment 1-5 days before travel which will be recorded in the passport.

does my dog need passport to travel

Once you have your shiny new passport, there is no need for your previous paperwork! Ahh. It makes traveling around Europe so much easier and stress-free.

 

Now, I did say stress-free but of course, things can happen…

When you are traveling and crossing borders, the border patrol is VERY strict — just like with us humans. If there are any holes or mistakes, they will send you back quick. I even heard of somebody getting turned away recently because the date of their tapeworm treatment was recorded as “6/11/2018” (the American way) instead of “11/6/2018.”

At the border getting into England from France, there’s even a cash-only vet very close to the Eurotunnel who specializes in circumstances like this and can fix you up a new pet passport. If you’re traveling off-hours then you’ll need to spend the night at a nearby hotel, of course. 

 

I traveled to Paris with Fira for the first time last October, so I was able to get her a passport made when we were in Paris. We went to the same vet for this trip for Weston’s passport. Now they both have one but I still bring all the paperwork with me just incase. You just never know.

I’ve noticed it can be very inconsistent who checks your documents. At the Heathrow airport recently, they didn’t know how to read it and had to call someone else over — she checked it for just the rabies vaccination and let us through.

At our second time through the Eurotunnel Pet Immigration center, in spite of how strict they can be, they only checked Fira’s passport but didn’t even look at Weston’s.

Yes, it’s your vet’s job to fill out the forms and/or passport but always triple-check the dates, info and numbers yourself. Fira’s microchip on her health certificate was one number off (the last number) but nobody noticed — WHEW. We got very lucky.

Just make sure you know exactly what information is on your paperwork and keep it close to you. As long as you’re well-prepared with your documents and travel, it’s a straight-forward process and there shouldn’t be any surprises. If you are going to travel with your pet internationally, a pet passport will definitely make the process smoother and faster for the next trip. Bon voyage!

DIY: Rosé Gummy Bears + More

How cute are gummy bears?!

Well, when I found out you could make gummy bears for dogs and that gelatin is indeed safe for dogs, I knew I had to make pink rosé gummies!

I made mine with pureed strawberries + coconut water. There are so many varieties you could make too — bone broth treats like this recipe on This Dog’s Life, pumpkin + cinnamon + more. I also ordered a gummy bear mold on Amazon which comes with an easy-to-use dropper.

is gelatin safe for dogs

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS 

  1. Purée strawberries with ¼ cup of coconut water (or cold water).
  2. Strain the purée + keep liquid.
  3. Sprinkle with 1 TBSP gelatin.
  4. Pour in ¼ cup of hot water and whisk.
  5. Pour into ice cube trays, molds or a glass baking pan. 
  6. Cover + chill for 3 hours. Must keep refrigerated or it will melt. Will keep refrigerated for up to 4 days. 

 

OTHER RECIPES

Beef Broth + Parsley 

  • Tbsp fresh parsley (chopped) 
  • 1 cup low sodium broth 

Pumpkin + Cinnamon 

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree 
  • ¹⁄₈  tsp cinnamon 
Chicken Broth + Turmeric
  • 1 pinch turmeric powder
  • 1 cup low sodium broth

 

 

Can My Dog Eat Fermented Vegetables? Yes!

why fermented foods are better

Who else loves fermented foods? Pickles, kimchi, sauerkraut, jalapeños — literally, some of my favorite foods. Did you know some of your favorite foods are probably fermented too? Beer, some cheeses, wine and cacao beans are all fermented to make into chocolate.

Why fermenting?

There’s just something about the sour-salty and extra layers of flavor that make fermented foods so delicious and so much healthier for our systems. Microorganisms break the cells down so our bodies digest them better and absorb nutrients.

From Dr. Heartway: “Cats, and to some degree dogs, eat mostly fresh meat “in the wild”. However, their consumption of plant matter is mostly in the form of gut contents from prey. These contents, such as from the rumen of a deer or intestines of a mouse have already been partially broken down by bacteria… ie, fermented.”

How does it work?

When vegetables are sealed without air with a preservative like salt, natural bacteria and enzymes break down the raw vegetables into a more digestible and nutritious form. 

“For those who have apprehensions about food safety, fermented vegetables can be safer than raw vegetables, thanks to the ability of lactic acid, which forms during fermentation, to hunt down and kill any harmful bacteria that might be present.”

I found someone on Instagram posting about fermenting vegetables for dogs and I immediately knew I had to start. The thing with fermented veggies is that it is SO easy to make (just let it sit for days!) and turns good foods into super foods.

I try to eat something fermented everyday (kimchi!) so that I know I’m getting those good probiotics for my gut. 

It’s the same reason why yogurt is good for your gut and also for your dog’s digestion. Weston is allergic to dairy unfortunately so he doesn’t get to have yogurt too often. But with fermented vegetables, they’re getting all that good flora, it’s inexpensive and they have been devouring every bit! I’m so excited about it!

 

fermented vegetables healthier for dogs

 

 

  • a handful of vegetables (carrots, radish, cabbage, green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, kale)
  • sea salt or himalayan salt
  • filtered water
  • air-tight jars
  1. Chop the vegetables finely or throw into a food processor. 
  2. Fill the jars with the tiny adorable veggies and fill to the top with salted water — just enough to cover the tops of the veggies. You can do anywhere from 1-3 TBSP of salt per 1 liter of filtered water.
  3. Store in dark place (warmer is better — fermentation takes a bit longer in a cool place).
  4. Open everyday to let air out. It creates pressurized gas and even “pops” when you open it. You can even buy lids specifically for fermentation that will release pressure on its own. 
  5. Let sit for 7-10 days.
  6. At max, store one year in cool place. Once opened, it will last two weeks in fridge. You can freeze (which stops the fermentation process). 

how to ferment vegetables

how to ferment vegetables for dogs

This is after 10 days of fermentation. I drained all the water and store them in the fridge in a container. I give the pups a spoonful per meal (breakfast + dinner). They have eaten every crumb and I think this will definitely become a regular thing. BTW, these are human-friendly too! 

Next time I think I will shred the veggies so they are softer and even easier to chew. Hope this was helpful and do let me know if you give it a try!

 

 

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