Safety tips for traveling with a pet

Many families travel during the holiday season. Pets are an important part of the family thus, should you chose to travel with your family pet here are a few safety tips to consider before hitting the road.

1-Make sure your pet is healthy and all his shots are up to date. Give him his monthly flea and tick pills before leaving on the trip. If you plan to stay longer than one month, be sure to bring the next month’s medicine along with you. Create a dog first aid kit with medicines your dog or cat might need. Take your vet’s phone number along in case your pet has a medical emergency situation.

2-You should purchase a name tag with the dog or cat’s name, address and a phone number where you could be reached if the dog or cat gets lost on the trip. You can have a GPS chip placed on your pet, too. Once the chip is activated, the pet can be tracked anywhere in the United States. This is a worthwhile feature for certain breeds of dogs.

3-Your dog or cat should lie in a cage while riding in the car. This is the safest way for him to travel. Make sure the cage is in a well ventilated area of the car; not underneath suits cases. The cage should sit flat on the car’s seat or back area. Put a familiar blanket and toys in the cage with the dog. It is possible to purchase dog safety belts. These can be ordered at your vet’s office or online. Purchase these a head of time and try them out before the trip. Make your pet feel safe and secure during the trip.

4-When traveling with your pet it’s important to stop frequently to give him exercise. Most highway rest stops provide an area for walking dogs or cats. Provide water for your animal when you stop at the rest area. Your pet can get dehydrated easily, especially in the hotter areas of the country.

5-Never leave your pet alone in your car. Even with locked car doors, thieves can break into your car and steal your dog or cat. On long trips, pets often become disoriented causing them to become upset and agitated when left alone in the car. If they jump around the car they can injure themselves. Have a plan in place for someone to sit in the car with the pet at rest stops or restaurants.

6-When you get to your destination; quickly establish a routine for your pet. This will help your pet adapt to the new surroundings and help them relax. Let them explore their new environment; establish boundaries for them early on. Always walk your pet on a leash even if you typically walk them without a leash at home.

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