Pet travel tips

For most people, pets aren’t just companions, they’re members of the family. So, it should come as no surprise that more and more people are choosing to bring their pets with them when they travel. Joining us is pet expert Andrea Arden with some tips on how to make travel with your pet as safe and fun as possible

It seems that a lot more hotels and vacation spots have become pet friendly. People in America really do consider their pets part of the family and seem to be making it known that they want them treated as such. So, you are more likely to find hotels opening their doors to our furry companions and other travel benefits being extended to our furry companions. In fact, your pet can now even be covered as part of your travel insurance by Progressive Group of Insurance Companies. A Progressive policy with collision coverage now covers our dogs and cats at no additional cost.

If you want your pet to join you on your travel adventures consider some important tips to help keep you and your pet safe and happy.

Be realistic about your pet’s suitability for travel. For some pets, travel just isn’t fun. Put your emotions aside and decide what’s best for your pet.

How do you know if your dog is a good candidate for a family vacation?
– Dog should be 12 weeks old or older
– Dog should be able deal with new situations well
– Dog should be friendly with people & other dogs
– Dog should be house trained
– Dog should not be an excessive barker
– Dog should not suffer from motion sickness

Just like us, your pet must be restrained for safe car travel, this is for their safety and yours. A loose pet may cause an accident by distracting the driver, or get hurt if you make a short stop or have an accident. Many dogs like to ride with their head out the window. But, this isn’t a good idea since your pet can be injured by debris flying into their eyes. One of the best options is a secured crate because if you get your pet used to resting in it in your home it means they have a familiar and secure place to rest in the car. You can also use a harness or booster seat which will also help keep your pet safer and less likely to be anxiously pacing in the backseat.

Some pets get pretty nervous and even carsickness while traveling. For most pets the only time they’re in the car is to make visits to the veterinarian or groomer. So, they may not consider it a great place to be. You can help to avoid this if you take your pet for short trips to what they consider a fun destination, such as a visit to the park of a friend’s house. It’s generally best not to feed them for a couple of hours before the trip. There are also lots of over the counter products which can help to decrease stress and anxiety (have Content-Eze, DAP and Rescue Remedy on table).

Also, be sure your pet is wearing up to date ID tags, just in case he or she gets lost while traveling and be sure to pack for your pet: Bring clean up supplies, a towel or bed for your pet to rest on in hotels, food and water (your local pet store will carry portable bowls), a pet first aid kit, and lots and lots of toys to keep them busy and well behaved.

Aside from safely restraining your pet, one of the most important things about pet travel is to make sure you never leave your pet unsupervised in the car. He’s susceptible to heat stroke (even if it isn’t that hot outside and if the car windows open), and to being stolen.

Packing for your pet:
– Identification & health records
– Leash & collar with ID tags
– Health & vaccination records
– Current photo, in case your dog gets lost
– Attach a bell to the collar
– Food & Water
– Bowls (possibly collapsible)
– Pet food
– Water from home if your dog has a sensitive stomach
– Clean-up stuff
– Plastic bags
– Lint & hair remover
– Room deodorizer
– Baby wipes
– Towel or bed to sleep on–something from home
– Grooming tools
– Toys
– Medical stuff
– Any necessary medication for your dog
– Doggie first aid kit
– Slip-on muzzle
– Tweezers & scissors (to remove ticks, burs, etc.)
– Extras
– Flashlight (for nighttime walks)
– Mini clip-on fan for hotel room or car

Friendly tip: before you travel, check the Companion Animal Parasite Council to see which parasites are prevalent at your destination, and consult your veterinarian about any recommended precautions.

About Andrea Arden

Andrea can be seen on Animal Planet's shows Dogs 101, Cats 101, Pets 101, America's Cutest Dog and America's Cutest Cat. She is the author of numerous best-selling books on animal behavior and training. Andrea is thrilled to be a part of Pets for Patriots' efforts to help its members successfully adopt and share their lives with shelter pets! Read more...
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