Traveling with pets

 

Are you planning the family trip and taking your family pets along? If so, are you prepared for having a pet in the car? Many of us travel with our family pets on different occasions and to various destinations. Traveling with pets takes some serious planning and preparation, depending on multiple considerations.
 
Some pets are not accustomed to traveling in cars. The mere mention of a car ride gives them the "heebee-jeebees". Others get carsick within the first few minutes of the ride, transforming the trip into a nightmare. These pets might benefit from "warm-up" trips. This is done by starting with short trips and gradually increasing the length of the rides until the pet gets used to it and no longer has motion sickness or anxiety. Some pets that do not respond favorably to the conditioning may require tranquilizers or other medications.
 
Confining pets to carriers, harnesses or pet seat belts are important safety measures. They protect the pets in case of accidents and prevent them from jumping out of the car or running free and disturbing the driver. Pets should not be allowed to extend their heads out of the window as flying objects might injure them. This also applies to the backs of pick-up trucks and rides in convertibles.
 
Pack the pet's travel necessities, including food, water bottles, dishes, toys, leashes and first aid kit. If your pet is on medications, make sure you pack those as well. Consult your veterinarian in regard to special needs related to the area to which you travel. Take in consideration climate issues, regional diseases, parasites and other possible hazards. Plan on periodic stops for exercise, elimination and feeding. If your trip requires lodging, seek out pet-friendly lodging arrangements that will accommodate your family and your pets comfortably and conveniently. Also remember that leaving pets in parked cars is dangerous, especially on hot days.
 
Make certain your pet's collar with rabies tag and ID tag affixed is in your possession or on the animal at all times. Avoid allowing pets to roam freely without supervision. Microchipping your pet is a very good idea and is the recommended form of permanent identification. Consult your veterinarian. A copy of your pet's medical records and current rabies certificate should be with you. As an alternate measure, find out if you can access your pet's records on line. You never know when you might need them, whether in the event of an emergency or while crossing state borders.
 
Taking precautions and planning ahead ensures a pleasant trip for you and your pets.

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