Monday, June 2, 2014

Pet Travel Tips

Gearing up for a Summer vacation? Make it more fun for everyone and bring your dog along! Here are a few pet travel tips to keep everyone safe and happy.

  • When planning your trip, check to see if there are pet-friendly hotels at your destination. Also, keep in mind that many state and national parks do not allow dogs in cabins, some campsites, or on trails. Do your research to make sure that your dog will be allowed where you are going!
  • Before your trip, make sure your pet is healthy and up for the journey. Make a trip to your vet to get a clean bill of health and get them updated on necessary vaccinations, heartworm preventative, and flea and tick preventative.
  • Take precautions that will help you should your pet get lost during your trip. Make sure they have a collar and ID tags with your most current contact information. Attach a temporary tag with the information of where you will be staying on your trip. You can also ensure a permanent form of identification by getting your pet microchipped.
  • When packing for your trip, make sure to bring a generous supply of your pet's regular food. Other essentials include: food and water bowls, litter and litter box, crate and bedding, leash and harness, grooming supplies, dog poop bags, toys, treats, pet first aid kit, and any necessary medications.
  • When traveling by car, it's safest to have your dog in a crate or secured with a seat belt harness in the back seat. This keeps your dog safe if you suddenly need to hit the brakes and it keeps your eyes focused on the road while driving.
  • Some dogs are sensitive to motion sickness while riding the car. To avoid an upset stomach, don't feed a large meal right before the car ride and don't feed snacks while the car is in motion.
  • Take frequent breaks on long road trips to give everyone a chance to stretch their legs, get a drink and use the bathroom (but always on-leash!).
  • Bring some kind of entertainment for your dog during the trip, a chew toy or other favorite toy to help alleviate boredom.
  • Never leave your dog unattended in the car, even for a quick stop. On an 85-degree day, even with the windows slightly open, the temperature inside your car can reach over 100 degrees in only 10 minutes. A dog left alone in a car also poses a risk for your dog to be stolen.
  • Don't allow your dog to stick their heads out of the window. It may look fun, but they could be injured from flying debris.
  • If you are flying to your destination, your pet should ride with you in the cabin of the airplane. Check with your airline in advance of your trips for the regulations and fees associated with this. Animals flown in the cargo area of airplanes are killed, injured, or lost on commercial flights each year. It may be the safest option to leave your pet at home with a pet sitter or boarded.