It’s been awhile since I did a blog post update on my French Bulldog, Reeses! We’ve had a very nice summer, and are ending it on a high note in California. This my very first time traveling with her on a plane! We’ve done a lot of road trips to and from Austin, but air travel was an entirely new experience. I wrote this blog post ahead of our trip, so I’ll be sure to update you guys when we get home about my best tips for air travel with a dog! I wanted to really take some time off from work/blogging, so I scheduled all of my posts in advance. Hope that’s ok with you guys! In this post I thought I’d update y’all on how we prepped for the trip and also share some of her current favorite things. You can check out my past Reeses updates + doggy tip posts here!
TRAVEL CARRIER – I did quite a bit of research when it came to pet carriers, because although Reeses is small, she is thick. She’s definitely on the heavier side for a female Frenchie, so I knew I needed a super sturdy carrier for her. The other major thing to consider is getting a carrier that can easily fitter under the seat in front of you on the plane. I first ordered the Southwest brand carrier, which unfortunately was far too small for Reeses. Seems like only a Yorkie or toy-sized dog could fit in that thing. The next one I ordered was this Sherpa brand carrier from Amazon. It’s of decent quality, but honestly didn’t feel super strong or sturdy. After getting a number of Instagram ads for Roverlund, I decided to order one of theirs. Bingo! This one is suuuuuper sturdy and holds her up with ease. It features a long shoulder strap and two shorter straps, as well as a pocket at the back for storing treats and other things. In order for it to fit under the seat, you do have to remove the hard insert in the pack section, but I’m happy to do that. The bag just needs to have a little flexibility! We’ve been practicing with the travel carrier for a month or so now – I’m having Reeses get in and hang out for awhile, drive around in the car with her in it, etc. She gets treats when she gets in and stays in, so she naturally loves it. Plus, the sherpa lining is soft and she loves to nap on that. Here are some pics of dogs in the Roverlund travel carrier on planes!
TOYS – Reeses LOVES these toys. We have so many of them now! It’s primarily what we play fetch with in the house. I love that they’re soft and won’t leave a dent in anything like a ball or something hard would, and she loves that they’re lightweight and easy for her to grab. She’s not great at getting her mouth around a ball! I also love that I can wash them (on the delicate cycle) to keep them from getting too stinky. They were super easy to pack for our trip too! Didn’t weigh much or take up too much space.
BED – I 100% packed this donut bed for California! She loves this thing. I have one upstairs and downstairs at home! She sleeps in a crate at night, but this is her go-to during the day when I’m home. It’s actually very lightweight, so I packed it in my second checked bag for this trip! We have the medium size.
TREATS – Reeses loves peanut butter SmartBones! It takes her 20-30 minutes to eat one, so it’s a great way to keep her busy if I have guests over. The other treat I’ve been giving her lately is The Honest Kitchen’s Goat’s Milk N’ Cookies snacks. They’re a little sweeter and she loves them!! I’ve only ever given her the Peanut Butter & Honey flavor. We also have a lot of those MilkBone minis leftover from Valentine’s Day, so I give her those too. I keep these upstairs in my office!
COLLARS – I custom made her collar in a couple of different colors on here! I love that you can add the personal information right on the collar, vs having a dangling tag that could fall off or get snagged on something. You can see a peek of her collar in these photos! For walks and when we’re in public, I also use this prong collar – otherwise she’ll pull all the live long day! With the prong collar on, she’s way more receptive to direction and it’s easier to communicate what I’m asking her to do. Before I sent her to Bevill Dog Behavior I used a harness, but Brad said that will only allow them to continue pulling – harnesses are not a great tool for training!
TREADMILL – When it’s too hot out, the weather is bad, I’m sick, or too busy to walk her, this treadmill is a Godsend. Bevill Dog Behavior teaches to keep your dogs exercised – ideally two walks per day for 45 minutes to an hour. This helps burn energy, keeps them healthy/fit and fulfilled. They’re less likely to act crazy or exhibit destructive behavior when they’re fulfilled and tired! I keep the treadmill in the storage closet in my office and then just roll it out if we need it. It was especially nice to use when I was dealing with SI joint pain a few weeks back and a sprained ankle back in December!
GROOMING – Shedding has been a major development this summer that we hadn’t really dealt with before! I use this brush after she’s been bathed and is fully dry. You wouldn’t believe the clumps of hair that fly off her! I do it outside, because it is *a lot*. At first she was a little scared of it, but after a few brush strokes she LOVES it. It’s like a massage to her!
FOOD – Frenchies are known to deal with allergies, but something I wasn’t expecting her to be allergic to was her food! Earlier this year she had allergy testing, and nothing in the environment was causing it – which again, is wild for a Frenchie. The only explanation then was that her food is what she was having major issues with! My vet said it usually has to do with the protein source in the food, so she suggested we swap over to a food with hydrolyzed protein. This means the protein has been broken down into small components, and is less likely to cause adverse food reactions. She’s been eating this food for awhile now and loves it! It does require a prescription!
Stay tuned to hear how traveling with Reeses went on this trip! I’ll do a full follow-up blog post once I’m back in Dallas!