There is no doubt that our four-legged friends are considered part of the family – they’re featured on holiday cards and often have their own Instagram accounts. Which is a good thing because according to Psychology Today, viewing pets as family members improves your mental and physical health. “We all want our pets as part of our families, to be with us as much as possible,” says Gayle Martz, a pet advocate, businesswoman, and author of IT’S IN THE BAG. “You wouldn’t leave a son, daughter, husband, wife or other much-loved human behind when you took a trip, so why would you have to leave your pet behind?” This thinking is what inspired Martz to create the iconic SHERPA Bag, the first soft-sided pet carrier. This single invention completely changed the pet landscape making it acceptable and commonplace for pet owners to bring their dog or cat along for an adventure! “I tell people my philosophy has always been to do what you love, in the places you love, with the people and pets you love,” says Martz. The SHERPA Bag makes this a reality.
Martz provides tips on how to get your four-legged family member accustomed to traveling whether it be by car, train, foot, or plane!
As odd as it sounds, the first – and most important step – to helping your pet travel is to stay home with the SHERPA Bag. Find a place in your house where you can put the bag and let your pet freely go in and out of the bag, rewarding your pet for doing so. “The more comfortable your pet becomes with the bag at home, the less anxiety you and your pet will have when you travel,” says Martz.
Once your pet feels comfortable going in and out of the SHERPA Bag at home, it’s time to venture out! Pick a local place for your first outing that your pet will associate with happiness like the dog park, a trail, or an outdoor restaurant. “Your dog will hear the zipper and immediately be excited for the trip,” says Martz. She also notes to never leave your pet alone in a zipped-up bag.
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