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2017-08-10

Travel Safety Tips

Contributed

For some pet parents, a trip is no fun if the four-legged members of the family can’t come along. But traveling can be highly stressful, both for you and your pets.
No matter where you’re headed or how you plan to get there, make sure your pet is microchipped for identification and wears a collar and tag imprinted with your name, phone number and any relevant contact information. It’s a good idea for your pet’s collar to also include a temporary travel tag with your cell phone and destination phone number for the duration of your trip.
Traveling by plane?
Unless your furry friend is small enough to ride under your seat, it’s best to avoid air travel with your pets. If you must bring your pet along on the flight, here are a few suggestions to keep your pet safe while flying the friendly skies.
• Book a direct flight whenever possible.
• Make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up-to-date and obtain a health certificate from your veterinarian dated within 10 days of your departure. Ask about ways to relax your pet if you suspect he or she may become uncomfortable mid-flight. For travel outside of the continental United States, contact the foreign office of the country you are traveling to for more information.
• Purchase a USDA-approved shipping crate. Tape a small pouch of dried food outside the crate so airline personnel will be able to feed your pet during a layover. Freeze a small dish or tray of water for your pet. This way, it can’t spill during loading and will melt by the time he or she is thirsty. Make sure the crate door is not locked, so that airline personnel can open it in case of an emergency.Mark the crate with the words “Live Animal,” as well as with your name, cell phone and destination phone number, and a photo of your pet. Should your pet escape from the carrier, this could be a lifesaver. You should also carry a photograph of your pet.
Taking a Road Trip?
Traveling with a pet by car involves more than just loading the animal in the back seat and motoring off, especially if you will be driving long distances or plan to be away for a long time.
•. Get your pet geared up by taking him on a series of short drives first. If you’re traveling across state lines, bring along your pet's rabies vaccination record. While this generally isn't a problem, some states require this proof at certain interstate crossings.
• Keep your pets safe and secure in a well-ventilated crate or carrier. The crate should be large enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down and turn around in. Secure your pet’s crate so it will not slide or shift in the event of an abrupt stop. If you decide to forgo the crate, don't allow your pet to ride with his head outside the window, and always keep him in the back seat in a harness attached to a seat buckle.
•. Bring food, a bowl, leash, a waste scoop, plastic bags, grooming supplies, medication and first-aid, and any travel documents. Pack a favorite toy or pillow to give your pet a sense of familiarity. Be sure to pack plenty of water, and avoid feeding your pet in a moving vehicle. Your pet's travel-feeding schedule should start with a light meal three to four hours prior to departure, and always opt for bottled water. Drinking water from an area he or isn’t used to could result in stomach discomfort.
• Never leave your animal alone in a parked vehicle. On a hot day, even with the windows open, a parked automobile can become a furnace in no time, and heatstroke can develop. In cold weather, a car can act as a refrigerator, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.
Article & Photo courtesy of
www.aspca.org