Traveling with Your Pets

My husband and I won’t go anywhere without our beloved pets, which usually means that we are driving to our chosen destination. Our pups truly enjoy the ride, but it’s very important to keep in mind the following items when preparing for an excursion with your animals:

1. Visit with your veterinarian to ensure that all shots are up to date, and your pets are in good health. Secure any necessary medications for the duration of your trip and carry the animal hospital’s number with you in the event of emergency.

2. Utilize car safety devices for your pet. There are a number of different carriers and seat belt harnesses that will attach comfortably to your vehicle’s restraint system, protecting your pets from sudden stops or unavoidable accidents. A pet, just like a child, can easily be thrown from the car, get banged up or become a projectile if loose and unsecured.

3. Research pet friendly hotels and lodging. There are many wonderful accommodations that accept pets, but even more that do not. So be sure to check online or with your travel agent to locate properties that will house you and your entire family. By checking in advance, you can save yourself lots of headaches and last minute stress of driving from place to place trying to find a home for the night.

4. Keep your pet leashed during walks and feedings. Since you will be in strange places, and chances are, at rest areas with other travelers and their pets – it’s wise to always keep your animals on their leash. This will keep them from straying into unknown, and potentially hazardous areas, such as roadways, picnic areas, wooded lots, etc. Remember to stop at least every 2-3 hours so your pets can stretch their legs and get the proper circulation via exercise. If your pets tend to bark, try to limit their exposure to strangers or other environmental factors that would cause them anxiety or fear.

5. Supervise your pets near pools, lakes and ponds. Dogs are particularly known for their swimming abilities, however like children, you should not let your pet go unsupervised near water of any type. If you wish to take your pets boating or sailing, be sure to purchase a life preserver for them which is available at most pet shops and discount shopping centers.

With a little advanced planning, and by paying close attention to your pets needs, you can ensure a safe and fun vacation for the entire family. Happy travels!

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