How to Safely Travel with Your Pets

For avid travelers who happen to also be pet owners, a common problem faced is what to do with your furry family members while you are on the road. Many tend to seek kennels for their pets to stay in during their time away, but for others, bringing them along for the journey is crucial. If bringing your dog, cat, rabbit, or any pet with you for your traveling excursions is a must, take the following considerations into account to guarantee they are properly taken care of during such times.

Know Before You Go

The most obvious consideration beforehand is making sure your pet is allowed into the country you’ve chosen to travel to. Many countries require strict screenings for pets visiting from foreign countries, including vaccinations, behavioral tests, and sometimes microchips; a surgically implanted device to monitor your pet’s location at all times, which should be done well before planning to travel. The consulates of each country all have the information needed to ensure you meet their requirements, and more information can be found at the U.S. Department of State’s website.

Be Mindful When Flying

If your travel plans involve flying, your pet’s well being is crucial, ensuring his or her safety and comfort. After choosing an airline, check their pet policies beforehand. Some may allow smaller cats and dogs in the cabin of the plane, while others require that you have them stored below the cabin. If your pet must be below cabin, it is vital that you consider the temperatures during your time of travel. The summer and winter months will yield extremely hazardous temperatures to pets in an uncontrolled environment.

Some airlines have pet health requirements that should be considered as well. Visiting a veterinarian before your trip will not only give you a certificate to ensure your pet’s health upon arriving, but let you know whether or not your pet is healthy enough to travel in the first place. If you have sick, ill tempered, or physical impaired pet in any way, it may be wise to either leave them with a friend, or postpone the trip entirely.

Another thing worth noting is the fact that certain breeds of dogs should never be brought on planes. Pugs, Pekingese, Chows, and other short-snouted breeds already have limited breathing passages, and are therefore more prone to oxygen deprivation and heat stroke at higher altitudes.

Choose the Right Rental

Assuming most hotels do not allow pets, when searching for a home or apartment to rent, make sure the environment of such places is suitable for your pet’s size, habits, and overall personality. For example, if you have dogs that tend to be skittish around other people, it would be best to avoid staying in a city or heavily populated area. If they enjoy swimming or hiking, search for cabins near mountains or lakes to give them the times of their lives.

An important thing to keep in mind when choosing where to stay in your vacation destination is the area’s rules for pet waste. Picking up after your pet has done his or her business is not only considerate, but respectful of the country in which you are visiting. Always bring the necessary items in order to properly clean up after your pets.


The Best Non-Profits for Poverty

Poverty alleviation is among the most popular causes in charity today. As of 2015, 43.1 million people were in poverty, 24.4 million of which were between the ages of 18 and 64. Even worse, an astounding 14.5 million members of that grim statistic were children under the age of 18. Now in the year 2017, poverty is still a serious issue. However, there are an enormous number of organizations doing their part to end it altogether. Below are just a few non-profits that have made an impact not in just in the United States, but around the world as well.

Mercy Corps

This organization strives to alleviate poverty, suffering, and oppression in countries around the world by helping people build communities rather than simply handing them food or clothing. Mercy Corps does their part amid natural disasters, extreme poverty, and communities that may suffer from instability in order to motivate those who have the capability of overcoming these hardships. Working in more than 35 countries, Mercy Corps has raised $1.5 billion for 106 nations since 1979.

Feeding America

As the United States’ largest hunger-relief charity, Feeding America is responsible for providing food for more than 25 million Americans every year. They have over 200 food banks serving all 50 states, in addition to providing both the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.


Taking a different approach to charity, Kiva attempts to connect people through lending in order to end poverty in areas affected. This is the first person-to-person microlending site, and as such, have paved the way for innovation in philanthropy by empowering people to donate directly to individual entrepreneurs in developing countries.

The Hunger Project

Committed to ending world hunger, The Hunger Project is based in Africa, Asia, and Latin America where programs are taught (primarily to women) on how to empower yourself as well as others. The ultimate goal is to establish self-reliance. People who are able to meet their own basic needs, teach their children how to do the same, and improve upon this foundation are much more likely to end poverty in their country of origin than large sums of food being sent over from other nations.

Meals on Wheels Association of America

One of the more popular food-based non-profits in the United States, the Meals on Wheels Association of America is dedicated to serving senior citizens and people with disabilities who may be unable to obtain food themselves, while also building relationships between their clients and volunteers. With each meal costing roughly $6, the organization relies heavily on donations.

With that said, to do your part in any of these great non-profits fighting poverty, visit the links below, and give what you can.

Mercy Corps

Feeding America


The Hunger Project

Meals on Wheels

How to Support Local Businesses

Small Business Week was first introduced by President John F. Kennedy in 1963. Since then, every single president has given their signature recognizing the decree. Communities depend on their local businesses to thrive and build their reputations, and in turn, grow their economies. Because of this, choosing family-owned restaurants, small clothing stores, and independent workers of all kinds is key in not only helping your community, but supporting those driven enough to do what they love and give back.

Buy from local grocers

Having to buy groceries every week can be tedious and time consuming for many people, so why not support the local farmers and grocers who provide these goods directly? By putting your money towards these hardworking business owners, you are effectively putting that money back into the community. As an added bonus, the foods you purchase at local grocers may be surprisingly more delicious than you’d expect.

Dine locally

If you’re looking to enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner out on the town, consider your community’s family-owned restaurants rather than large chains. The quality of the food tends to be much better, the atmosphere is more accommodating, and the service is greatly improved due to a higher level of appreciation for patronage. Local restaurants depend almost solely on members of their community to stay afloat. Though tourists may come and go, the business of those who do not actually live within a reasonable distance cannot be relied upon for smaller restaurants. Do your part within your community and grab a bite at local restaurants.

Spread the word

There is perhaps no better way to support your local businesses than by telling anyone and everyone about them. Now with the powers of social media, this strategy has been made easier than ever. Visit the Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, Instagram accounts, and much more of any business that has such, and share it with your friends. The internet allows the possibility for these businesses’ names to reach far and wide, leading to a potential increase in traffic, or even sales.

Another, more important way of spreading the word is passing on the values of supporting local businesses to younger generations. This can continue to the success of your community’s small businesses, as well as spark a potential entrepreneur to start a small business of their own.
Local businesses should be greatly appreciated by those within their communities as means of keeping them thriving, relevant, and unique. For people who wish to contribute, this year’s Small Business Week begins April 30th, and lasts until May 6th.

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