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Lightweight Dog Bag by Sturdi Products

SturdiBag GreenAs we’re always on the search for great dog bags / carriers, we were thrilled to discover the SturdiBag Flex-Height Carrier! The first thing you notice is how light the bag is. The SturdiBag large only weighs 2.6 pounds, despite that it has been tested to safely carry a pet up to 40 pounds and has the dimentions: 18 L x 12 H x 12 W inches. It’s by far the lightest bag we’ve seen on the market!

SturdiBag

One the key advantages of the SturdiBag is the patented flex-height design with flexible rods that allow the carrier to flex down without collapsing to conform to under seat heights. Then the bag pops back into shape when it is no longer stored under the airline seat. Many dog carriers do not have this extra support and as a result the bag does not hold its shape and the top can collapse down on your dog.

The SturdiBag is made of durable 600 denier polyester with urethane coating, which makes it very durable and water resistant. It comes in a variety of colors and is available in 5 sizes for the standard model (non-divided) and 2 sizes for the divided models. It also has pockets so you can put your dog’s leash or treats in it. There is one back storage pocket on the 5 standard models and deep side pockets on the 2 divided model. The SturdiBag is also easy to clean and completely machine washable.
SturdiBag

The SturdiBag includes:

  • Adjustable 4-point padded shoulder strap & leather hand grip
  • Retractable privacy flaps on all mesh windows
  • Seatbelt safety straps for car travel
  • Interior Comfort Pad secured by Velcro
  • Zipper Security Clips and a tether for safety and security

The SturdiBag Flex-Height Pet Carrier comes with a Comfort Pad which is covered with soft fleece. This light weight Comfort Pad is filled with a cushy, convoluted or “egg-crate” style foam that provides air circulation and superior weight distribution for support, comfort and pressure relief. The Comfort Pad may be beneficial for aging pets and/or pets with arthritic or other orthopedic problems. If your dog really likes the Comfort Pad in the SturdiBag, you can purchase additional ones to use around the house. There are various Comfort Pad cover designs and colors so you can find one that suits your home.

SturdiBag

SturdiBags come in a variety of colors, designs and sizes

The company Sturdi Products really stands behind their products. All SturdiBag pet carriers and other products are warranted against manufacturer defect for the life of the product.

They will also replace parts as needed or handle special requests such as installing customized/heavy mesh. Sturdi Products has been catering to the needs of professional dog handlers and groomers since 1993. So they really have a “high touch” when it comes to customer service.

Sturdi Bag for 2

The Divided SturdiBag has 2 Pet Compartments!

Sturdi Products was founded on the principle of decreasing the stress of both pets and people by designing better products for use when traveling with pets. Sturdi now offers over 40 professional quality & innovative products.

SturdiBox

SturdiBox

They also make the SturdiBox which is great for both on the road and at home. Built out of high-quality, durable materials, the SturdiBox waterproof and built to last. Folds flat and snaps closed for packing! You can see in the photo here are two small SturdiBoxes (they come in different sizes). The one in purple filled with water and the other folded in black.

Top Dog Water Bottles to Keep Your Dog Hydrated

When you’re on the go, cupping your hands to make a water bowl for your dog isn’t easy and you usually end up wasting a lot of water. It’s important to keep your pet hydrated, so we’ve put together a few of our favorite Top Dog Water Bottles:

Popware H-DuO
We love the Popware H-DuO with collapsible travel bowl. The bottle has two 12-ounce watertight chambers so you can hold two different drinks simultaneously. Or if you prefer, put water on one side and small doggie treats (or food) on the other. The H-DuO is made of BPA-free material. The collapsible travel bowl clips onto the bottle, which makes it ideal for travel.
H2O4K9 Stainless Steel K9 Water Bottle
If you’re looking for a dog water bottle which is high tech and modern, check out the H2O4K9 Stainless Steel K9 Water Bottle. It’s designed so that the lid is the bowl. Your dog also gets his own bottle of water if you’re not into sharing your own. H2O4K9 products are designed for rugged use and years of re-use.
Highwave Dog Mug
This is an easy to use travel mug for your dog. Gently squeeze the bottle and water will fill the bowl. Release your squeeze and the water returns to the bottle. The adjustible velcro strap makes it easy to carry while on the go. This mug fits in a standard car cup holder and holds 20 ounces of fresh water. BPA free and made in the USA.
Gulpy Water Dispenser
The Gulpy Water Dispenser is part bottle and part bowl. Just flip to open and flip to close. If needed, gently squeeze the bottle to start water flow. Place the bowl on the ground or hold it in your hand and allow your dog to drink.
Pyrus Pet Travel Bottle
The Pet Travel Bottle from Pyrus is a portable bottle with a bowl which also doubles as a lid. It’s made from silicone and ABS plastic materials, which are safe and durable. Comes with a with carabiner clip.

Dog Car Travel – How to have a good road trip with your dog

dog car travel

Road Trip!

Time for a road trip with your best friend? Whether it’s the holidays, vacation or a short trip, just tossing your dog in the car might sound easy, but isn’t that safe and could lead to an unpleasant trip. Here are a few of our dog car travel tips:

  • Make sure your dog has gone for a walk to do his “business” and also burned off any excess energy they might have.
  • Don’t feed or water your dog too much before the trip. I’ll typically give my dog a very small meal before the trip. My dog will get sick if he has nothing in his stomach, but clearly you don’t want your dog to be too full, because they could get car sick and throw up too. You’ve got to find the right balance for your dog.
  • Bring some treats &/or a bully stick. Rewarding them for good behavior is important. The bully stick or other food stuffed toy can also keep them entertained during the ride.
  • If it’s a long car trip, make sure to take some breaks so your dog can walk and stretch out, as well as, do any “business” and drink a little water.
  • Make sure they are riding securely in your car. Here are a few options:
Clickit Dog Car Travel Harness Clickit Utility Dog Harness from Sleepypod
Unlike typical pet safety harnesses which are one-point in design, Clickit Utility is a three-point dog safety harness. Similar in concept to the three-point seatbelt federally required in all vehicles, Clickit Utility’s three points of attachment absorb force in a frontal collision by dissipating energy and keeps the dog in the car seat during impact. Sleepypod’s Clickit Utility was the Top Performer in the Center for Pet Safety test.
Orvis Travel Dog Crate Noz2Noz Folding Nylon Travel Dog Crate
This lightweight and soft dog crate is ideal for travel or home. Set one up in the car to keep your dog safe while on the road, then take it out and use it at your destination. It’s a safe, secure and convenient way to travel by car. Its lightweight construction facilitates easy portability and is quick and simple to pop up and fold down.
dog-car-seat Snoozer Lookout Dog Car Seat
This car seat gives your dog the perfect place to either enjoy the passing scenery or curl up and take a nap while you’re on the move in your car.  Your dog can ride along right beside you, providing him with optimum reassurance and comfort. For safety and security a connection strap is included for the seat belt to join to the harness.

For more dog travel tips and products, check out our Dog Travel section! Safe travels!

Flying with Your Dog on a Plane

plane dog

Kobi (8wks) in his travel bag on his first flight.

I have a real plane dog. The day I adopted Kobi, I took him on his first flight (see right). Since then, I’ve taken Kobi on several flights both domestically and internationally. As such, I can definitely help you with tips for flying with a dog.

Kobi is under the typical 20lbs limit for in-cabin flight travel, so he’s always been in the airplane with me. (I can’t comment on plane travel for dogs that are larger and need to be in the hull, i.e. as cargo.)

Before Your Flight with Your Dog

You will need to check with the airline you plan to fly with and see what their pet regulations are. There is no standard set of rules and they can change. Sometimes rules are different depending on where you are flying to (e.g. Hawaii).

First of all, make sure the airline will take your breed. Some airlines will not accept brachycephalic or snub-nosed dogs, e.g. Pugs. Shih Tzus.

You need to purchase a ticket for your dog, as well as, yourself. I find this highly annoying because your dog will end up sitting in your seat area. You have to put him in front of your feet, on the floor, under the seat in front of you. Don’t forget that despite the fact that you purchased a ticket for your dog, this does not give you an extra bag. If you’re flying coach, you are still only limited to one bag and one personal item. The dog bag will count as the “one bag”, so I just bring a purse as my personal item.

It’s important to make sure your dog has a ticket because there generally is a limit on the number of pets in the cabin. Note service animals are typically not counted in the maximum number allowed in the cabin.

Getting the Right Dog Travel Bag

Your dog will need an airline approved dog bag. I’ve never experienced an airline exactly measure the bag my dog was in, however, your dog needs to be able move around in it – typically stand up enough so he can switch his body position front to back and visa versa. I have heard stories of airlines doing this test. The dog bag also needs to be able to fit under the seat in front of you.

I recommend getting a dog bag which allows your dog to see out as much as possible (this also helps with ventilation). It should also have flaps to close the “windows” of the bag, because sometimes your dog will just want to sleep and not be distracted.

Make sure to get your dog used to his travel bag. He should not be testing it out on his first flight. We made sure to feed Kobi in his travel bag before he used it on a plane. As such, he has positive experiences associated with his travel bag.

Last but not least, often you will need a health certificate from your vet, which might need to be dated within 10 days of the first flight your dog will be on.

Next step: What to Bring for the Day of Travel