by Tara M. Clapper, Contributing Writer
Chihuahuas are full of energy, but they're also small, frail dogs. The recent death of John Travolta's dogs brings up many points about dog safety in public. While the incident involving these dogs was certainly deemed an accident, it creates a positive forum of discussion for dog safety issues.
In the airport: Keep your Chihuahua crated. Chihuahuas are extremely excitable dogs. Though they love to meet new people and other animals, new environments are very stimulating to Chis. Keep your dog in her crate and at your side whenever possible. Most airlines allow very small pets (including Chihuahuas) to accompany you in the passenger cabin so long as they are well-behaved.
In the car: Your dog may be accustomed to having a great time in your car--bouncing everywhere and licking family members. However, Chihuahuas are at risk of severe injury if you are involved in a car accident. You should keep your Chihuahua in a dog car seat hooked in to the back seat. Do not safety-belt your Chihuahua; instead use a veterinarian-approved safety seat.
When you stop at a rest area, it's acceptable to let your dog urinate or defecate on the grassy areas, but be sure to bring bags along to dispose of the solids in a nearby waste bin. Keep watch for other dogs nearby that may be aggressive towards your Chihuahua. Never leave your dog in a car alone with the windows rolled up--he could get hot and potentially die as a result.
On a train: Many train systems have the same rules as airplanes for pets; so long as your Chihuahua is not a distraction, you are free to bring her aboard and keep her crated. Pay special attention to the amount of time spent at each train stop. Long train rides usually have a long stop in the middle. Take this opportunity to take your dog outside.
Most importantly, always use a leash and keep watch. It may sound impossible, but even hawks and other animals like to prey on small dogs.
This post was originally published on Examiner.com as Chihuahua Examiner. Republished with permission of the author.
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